Trusting your Young Adult to Make and Learn from Mistakes

Making mistakes as a young adult is an important part of the transition from adolescence to adulthood, but as parents, it’s natural to want to step in and help your child through these tough times. As your child continues to grow in her independence, it’s important to find that balance of support and hands-off parenting when it comes to making and learning from mistakes.

How to help your young adult learn from mistakes

If the goal as parents is to raise young people primed for thriving in their futures, it’s crucial to understand the importance of helping them learn from their mistakes. Making mistakes and reflecting on them helps young people gain knowledge about the world and gain wisdom from experience. Try these tips to best help your young adults learn from mistakes:

1. Keep calm – Your young adult will sense your feelings of anger, panic, or disappointment if you aren’t able to maintain a sense of control. Negative reactions and judgments will cause them to recoil from opening up to you and seeking your advice.

2. Help them calm down – Similarly, young adults won’t be in a good headspace for learning from mistakes if they are in panic mode. In order for them to reflect on the situation and gain valuable insights, help them relax and focus on the good that can be taken from the situation.

3. Avoid lecturing – Your young adult is less likely to take something positive away from a mistake if she feels like she is being chastised. Instead, help her come to her own conclusions and discover solutions so she can gain experience with adult decision-making skills.

4. Never say “I told you so” – Even if you did warn your young adult against a particular decision or action, rubbing their face in their mistakes will ensure they don’t come to you next time they are experiencing a problem. Instead, help them realize that making mistakes is human and foster healthy back and forth communication about these mistakes, so your young adult can gain important introspective skills.

5. Share your mistakes – Tell your child about a time when you made a mistake, how you handled it, and what you were able to learn from it. This will help your young adult relate to you and show that no one lives a life without mistakes.

6. Give unconditional love – Make clear to your young adult that they have your love and support, even when they make mistakes. Let them know there’s always a chance to try again with a different approach and different decision-making to make better choices in the future.

Foundations Asheville can help

Foundations Asheville is a young adult transition community serving young adults 18-24 who are looking to acquire the tools to make the transition from adolescence to adulthood. We help young adults aspire to find meaning, direction, positive relationships, and self-reliance in their lives.

Our program supports young people in creating a full and rewarding life through an individualized combination of education, vocation training, community service, life skills, and relationship building. For more information on how we can help, please call (877) 318-7273. 

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