It took 70 tries before the Wright brothers’ airplane left the ground. Abraham Lincoln lost eight times before he won an election.
Mistakes happen to everyone. Teens can sometimes learn important lessons about responsibility from those mistakes.
Suppose your teen has put off finding books to research a big paper. Now he won’t be able to turn his paper in on time. He’s made a mistake. But he can learn from it by following these four steps:
- Responsibility. Teens often start by blaming others. But they should own up to what they have done. “I waited until the last minute. When the book I needed was checked out, I didn’t have a backup plan.”
- Recognition. Once teens see they have made a mistake, they need to figure out what they might have done differently. “If I hadn’t waited so long, I could have gone to another library. I could have changed topics. Next time, I will start earlier.”
- Reconciliation. Did a mistake hurt another person? Apologize. Your teen might tell his history teacher what he learned about deadlines.
- Resolution. How can the problem be solved? Your son might talk to the teacher to see if he could do some extra work to make up for the low grade.
Some people say the biggest mistake is not learning from it. These four R’s will help your teen turn mistakes into lessons.
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