The other day, I was having a heart to heart talk with my 5-year-old daughter Yvette. She was telling me that she is sometimes slow to finish her class work. Knowing she’s a good student, I asked what the issue was. She said that sometimes she makes mistakes and it takes her a while to erase her answers. I asked her when does she notice that she has made a mistake. Knowing the perfectionists my children are, I also asked if she was erasing because the answer was wrong, or because she did not write as neatly as she wanted to. She said that after she writes her answer, she “thinks about it again” and realizes her answer is wrong and she corrects it. She exclaimed, “But it takes so long to erase everything!”
The first thing I do when faced with these dilemmas is stop and think before I answer. Knowing how children process things, I always try to be very deliberate, simple and concise when giving my children advice. I explained to her that when the answer comes into her head, before writing the answer, think about what she is about to write. I was trying to get her to see that if she could realize the answer was wrong after writing it down, then perhaps she could make that determination before writing her answer (of course, I used simpler terms!). This way, she could save time by not writing the wrong answer. She understood and said she would try.
This is a lot like life. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes – but if we would take a moment to stop and think before we make the mistake, we wouldn’t have to spend so much time erasing the mistake!
Think about it!
(#31WriteNow Challenge: Day 7)