It happens to us all. We trip, slip, put our foot in our mouth, or make fools of ourselves. As adults, we have the experience and know how to get over the faux pas and get back to normal life without any lingering embarrassment or shame. But many kids can’t process the feelings they’re having when they do or say something regrettable. They think their world is over and they or their friends will never forget their “mess up.” When your child feels like there’s no way he’ll ever get over it, as a parent, you can give him the tools and advice to come out on the other side feeling confident and self-assured.
We’re Only Human
Part of growing and learning means taking the lessons of our failures and putting them to good use. Even the most intelligent, influential, and powerful people in the world have made errors of judgment and mistakes. Dwelling on them only hinders us. Teach your child that everyone has their slip ups. Even you have been embarrassed by something you’ve done but made it through by realizing you’re not alone. Share personal stories to help your child see how it happens to us all. Humans are not perfect creatures and we all can learn from our pasts. When your child understands that part of getting older and wiser means taking a step back at times, he will be well-prepared for the inevitable mistakes that lie ahead. But in the future, he won’t focus on fear or embarrassment, but take his actions in stride and emerge with new tools for pushing forward.
Laugh It Off
If your child’s worried that he’ll be made fun of by his peers, the best way to get over the hump is to laugh at himself. If he called out a silly answer in class, ripped his pants on the ball field, or spilled his juice during lunch, rather than feeling ashamed, he can find the humor in the situation. Humor always relieves stress and makes a child part of the crowd rather than an outcast. When a child isolates himself because he thinks he’s done something wrong, others may begin to believe it’s true. Show your child that confidence is stronger than embarrassment and he’ll be more outgoing and willing to “mess up” knowing that it’s OK to do so.
Has your child been embarrassed at school and felt ashamed? How did you help him get over the anxiety and come out on top? We’d love to share your thoughts with the AMC community.
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