Making Mistakes

This week, I have made a few mistakes and I don’t mind admitting that (see also my post on the dangers of biting fingernails).  Years ago, I would have viewed this as being like the end of the world but nowadays I am more relaxed about my errors of judgement.  I put it down to the fact that I have realised that I am a human and not actually a robot and that I can now allow myself to make mistakes.

Yesterday, H and I had a fantastic time reading, “Five Minute Peace,” by Jill Murphy.  As we read the story, we discussed the details of the pictures and discussed items that the Large family had that we had in our home too.

Reading 'Peace at Last' by Jill Murphy
Reading ‘Peace at Last’ by Jill Murphy

We did a variety of activities in connection with this story, which H absolutely loved.  We made cakes, just like the cake that Mrs Large tries to eat in peace (and of course we ate said cakes).

Making cakes
Making cakes – the best bit!

She also washed up, with lots of bubbles as Mrs Large put lots of bubbles in her bath.

I wish I enjoyed washing up as much as this!
I wish I enjoyed washing up as much as this!

We read , ‘Little Red Riding Hood,’ and viewed different versions of it on the iPad as Laura in the story reads this to her Mum.

Watching 'Little Red Riding Hood'
Watching ‘Little Red Riding Hood’

We played the water flute that changes pitch, depending on how much water is in it to make the story more real for H as one of the children in the story plays the recorder to his mother, while she is trying to have her five minutes peace in the bath.  None of this went wrong and no mistakes were made here.  We both really enjoyed spending time together, focussing on taking part in different activities to make the book ‘come alive.’  We even played with her elephant toy.

Playing with her elephant toy
Playing with her elephant toy and giggling because she had blocked the exit where the balls usually shoot out.

As I have not really done papier mache with H before, we decided to make a bowl using this method.  In the, ‘Five Minute Peace,’ story, the baby elephant makes a mess at breakfast time by putting his bowl of cereal on his head, amongst other things.  H wanted to make a bowl like this but to add sparkles to it, instead of being white to match the book.  H ripped the newspaper up brilliantly and helped to mix the glue and water to make a gooey paste.

Ripping up the newspaper
Ripping up the newspaper

She absolutely loved sticking the paper onto the upturned bowl and did so very patiently for the longest I’ve seen her sit down to do a craft activity.  H was very excited about the bowl that she was making and we discussed the Five Minutes Peace Story throughout.

Making a papier mache bowl
Making a papier mache bowl

I have not done papier mache for a while and did not have any balloons to use for it so I thought that the pyrex bowl would be ok to use instead.  This was my mistake.  When it dried, it stuck tight to the bowl and would not come off.  I felt awful as H was so excited about seeing what her efforts had achieved.  I explained my mistake to her and said that we should have used balloons instead.  After the initial disappointment of realising that she wouldn’t see the bowl that she had worked hard to make, she suddenly perked up at the mention of balloons.  She told me that we should get some balloons and try again another day.  She also wanted to play with the balloons in the living room, with her brother.  I had an excited little girl again.  Plus, it meant that we would get to have fun sticking the ripped up newspaper together again but hopefully this time, we’d get to see the finished product.

A while ago, I would have been so worried about making a mistake like this, that it would have overshadowed the whole day of activities.  My thinking has changed lately though.  We had a fantastic time doing crafts, baking, reading and talking together.  I made a simple mistake and explained what had happened to my daughter.  I was pleased that she reacted the way that she did, suggesting that we could do it again and that it was something to look forward to.  We both learned from the mistake and moved on from it, realising that we’d had fun along the way.  I think that it is a valuable learning experience for her to see that it is ok to make mistakes and that they are sometimes necessary to understand the world better.  It is also important for her to know that it is great to have high expectations but if mistakes are made, then it is how we react to them and move on from them that we should focus on.

How do you deal with mistakes?  Do you beat yourself up about them or are you able to move on quickly from them?  How do your children deal with mistakes?

  • It’s so easy to be on the treadmill of blaming yourself for mistakes you make along the way as a parent. But in the long run we learn from these mistakes and it makes you a better parent. Lovely pos, my daughter too loved the Jill Murphy books and this one in particular 🙂

  • Globalmouse

    To be honest whenever I try to do crafts something usually goes wrong!! My oldest is a perfectionist though and I’m trying to teach him to move on and turn things into positives if they work out….

  • I try to get outside with the boys, it seems the best way for us to clear our heads and our mistakes to the rear. I wouldn’t say you made a mistake over the bowl. I have been there. I think that we are often much harder on ourselves and sometimes it is easier to treat ourselves as we would a friend

  • This is a great attitude to have. I made a big mistake with my sewing last week and rather than getting upset about it I focused on what I HAD learnt instead. 🙂

  • RosieCorriette

    My first inclination is to beat myself up but I’m trying to be more positive (and less harsh) on myself – great post!

  • mummyoftwo

    My crafts NEVER turn out the way I intend but I just concentrate on the fun we have had doing it and don’t worry about the rest!

  • Thou Shalt Not Covet

    It’s tough when you make mistakes but you’re right, acknowledge it, explain to your child what happened and just carry on. I’m trying this with my boy, now he’s three he’s just starting to understand 🙂 xxx

  • Everyone makes mistakes its how we learn and deal plus move on with life dont me too hard on yourself.

  • I think you’ve approached this in a brilliant way. Sadly not all children can move on so easily… but most can, and should be taught how to! Bowl licking is always the best bit btw 😉

  • Well done you, and her for seeing the positive! I try not to beat myself up over small things too x

  • Beautyqueenuk

    I think you approaches this brilliantly x

  • Queen Boudica

    I’m not sure my boys would have moved on so quickly to be honest, but you had a good approach & it paid off. Plus gave the promise of more fun to be had later.

  • Otilia

    Your little one looks so cute!

  • Natasha

    Great post and you handled it really well. It’s important also to teach our children that it’s about the journey and not always the destination. She looked like she had a fab time 🙂

  • Zena’s Suitcase

    It sounds like you both learned valuable lessons about mistakes and disappointment, two things that generally come with life. I haven’t always been good with mistakes and can let guilt over shadow me, but I think I’ve changed too with age #sharewithme

  • This is great: a fun time with your children and a lesson learned. I like your outlook on mistakes: to not take them as an offense but as a learning experience instead. It’s a great train of thought to have, especially with little ones. Thank you for sharing!

  • Kara

    Wow, you have been busy – cake baking with the kids is my fave activity

  • Susanne Remic

    I always teach mine to admit when they’ve made a mistake, and think about how they can make it better. We ALL make mistakes and we can all learn from them x x

  • Vaichin@RamblingThroughParenth

    Mistakes and mothering are two sides of a coin, if you ask me! You did well to focus on such wonderful positives you achieved through the day.

  • Merlinda Little

    Aww I think that your not being so bugged about making mistakes gives your daughter a chance to enjoy things w/o being scared to be scared. Shes also handled this well with those positive words! What a lovely girl =) #sharewithme

  • WOW I need you to come do all this at my house. You do so much with your little that is fantastic. I am horrible at crafting with mine and while they are getting to an age at 1 and 3 that I should be doing more crafting creative things with them. You are inspiring and sound like the coolest mom ever so forget your little mistake. Problem was solved with balloon excitement. lol I make bigger mistake than that all the time lol Parenting what not to do here hahahah Thank you so much for linking up to Share WIth Me #sharewithme

  • Alice & Amelia

    Wow what a fun filled day! I’m not good with mistakes. I’m a bit of a control freak so I like things to be done how I want and I really don’t like being told it’s wrong or ive forgotten something. I’m hoping il be a lot more relaxed with any mistakes I make around Amelia as she gets older but who knows. They are part of daily life though and we just have to forget them and move on I guess!! Thanks so much for linking up and sharing. #mummymonday co host x

  • Emma The Mini Mes and Me

    I think all are to are far too hard on themselves. It was s tiny error but you can now look forward to making something amazing another day x