If we want to raise children that will bounce back from disappointment and failure we have to teach them and model how to make peace with mistakes. Failing is a sign that we need to correct our course, make changes and try again. Mistakes make us humble (if we let them) and they remind us of our own vulnerability. When we choose to allow children to see us make peace with our own mistakes we demonstrate that mistakes do not render us unlovable or immobile. We can move forward even with our imperfections.
Do you berate yourself for mistakes, even small ones?
Do you feel think of yourself as stupid when you error?
What do you say to yourself when you are wrong?
These are all clues as to what we are teaching our children. Our children need to be able to acknowledge mistakes made, apologize without any reservation and make changes to avoid the same experience in the future. Autism does not make this goal any less important. In fact, our kids with autism may need to be even more forgiving of themselves! Lecturing our kids will never be as effective as modeling a script that they hear us say aloud when we slip up.
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