Making Mistakes

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So this month my son is really into markers, particularly the lids (which is definitely better as it means less marker on the walls however, it does mean that we constantly have marker on our hands). I’m not sure why anyone ever thought that non-washable markers was a good idea (or really my thought should be about what possessed me to buy them in the first place). My son’s absolute favorite thing to do is put the marker lids on his on his fingers (which he then appropriately calls marker fingers) and then tries to play with his toys which inevitably results in frustration since he can’t accomplish anything with markers on his fingers. What gets me, is that he still tries every time. My son is a clever kid, I know all parents think that about their own children, so I’m ok with the eye roll at your computer screen. My question is that how come toddlers will try something over and over again regardless of whether or not they keep getting the same outcome? At what age do we start making those connections? I think maybe some of us never do, it’s like having a hangover (kind of), you wake up with that pounding headache and you swear you’ll never drink again and yet that hangover seems to somehow magically appear. Is it an innate thing in some of us, do some toddlers really learn from their errors? I happen to know they do, one of my girlfriend’s daughter closed her finger in the kitchen drawer and guess what, she didn’t do it again. Maybe it’s a male versus female thing? Or is it something we learn with age?

The truth is learning from our mistakes is an extremely important life lesson. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” (Albert Einstein). Some of the most difficult life lessons we learn stem from a bad desicion we made. Good judgement can come from the experience of having bad judgement. Learning from our mistakes teaches us to rethink situations, come up with different solutions and thus encourages us to think creatively.

So, go on put those marker fingers on and try to pick up a train or a block, try, try and try again because eventually you’ll learn it’s not working and you’ll try a different way. In the mean time, I’ll just hope that the marker finger fad fades away (or washes out for that matter).

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