I am always amazed at what I learn from parents. Today I was giving yet another talk to a large group of parents of middle and high school kids. We were talking about how to help kids deal with disappointments. We spoke about the usual ways of helping kids including:
1. not criticizing them too harshly when they make a mistake.
2. letting the kids know that is acceptable to fail at times.
3. talking to your kids about what they learned from this mistake.
4. praising their effort even if they do not do well at a task.
5. not shaming or embarrassing them.
Well, just when I thought we had covered all of the usual DOs and DON’Ts about helping kids deal with disappointments, mistakes and failures–a mother contributed an incredible suggestion. She said that in her house they have a tradition called the MISTAKE CAKE. When a child makes an error they have a celebratory cake. While they are eating the cake the child talks about ways to avoid making similar mistakes in the future. Talk about creative. I and all of the other parents just loved this idea.