Go With the Flow... Even If It’s ‘Wrong’

by Scott Noelle

Sometimes we think we’re doing our kids a favor when we tell them the “right” way to do something: “No, dear... Do it this way.”

We think we’re just saving them the hassle of reinventing the wheel, or preventing something from being “wasted,” or saving time. But our corrections also send unintended, unspoken messages, like...

  • The end result is more important than the process.
  • Efficiency is more important than joy.
  • There is no value in making mistakes.
  • Better to go with a “sure thing” than to take risks.

In other words, frequently correcting children undermines their (and our) creativity!

So next time you see your child doing something the “wrong” way, ask yourself if it’s really so bad that you can’t go along with it. See if you can relax and enjoy witnessing his or her process of discovery.

Children who are allowed to find their own way learn that they can find their own way.

Originally published on 2006-05-25
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