3 Comments to
Why Your Eight Year Old Might Not Learn From His Mistakes

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  1. My first reaction to this article was that we all respond to positive feedback more than negative — even teens and adults. Given that some researchers are saying the brain continues to develop and mature possibly up until your mid-twenties, I’m guessing the ages provided in this article are not hard and fast. My observation is that my child’s experience and abilities change day to day. Sometimes, this is just a function of the hard work her body and brain are doing towards growth and change. To my frustration, what worked yesterday may not work today. In the absence of the manual (that was supposed to arrive with my child at her birth), this study simply punctuates the challenge for me as a parent of being aware of my child and parenting appropriately.

    • Loved your comment. This article was not really that helpful or informative either. I thought I was the only one who did not receive a child raising manual at her birth. I was in the room when my first grandchild was born and apparently the hospital did not have any on hand. I kind of think maybe you & I were deceived…there is no manual. :)

  2. Our Brain Works & Coping Skills for Kids (www.copingskills4kids.net)project involved 700 pre-teens (ages 9-12). One reason that we started the classroom emotional health project at 4th grade (mostly 9-yr-olds)is that their rapidly developing brains are nearly mature by age 11 or 12. However, when these pre-teens move into middle school and teenage peer culture with such coping preparation they are often overwhelmed with emotional distress and struggle to get over their anger and sadness. Neuroscience research suggests that the teenage brain self-regulating prefrontal cortex may not be fully functional until their mid-20’s. Yes, 12 and 13 yr. olds may handle negative references to their mistakes better, but both pre- and early teens need far more preparation for learning skills for regulating “immature” brain impulses when stressed that leads to the infamous, tormenting teenage years.

  3. My approach may be considered somewhat radical, but then again , so am I. I f my teenaged son made a mistake,
    I would let him know that making mistakes is the best way to learn – trial and error. Even when asking my opinion
    on dealing with a particular issue, I would steer him away
    from that which could be potentially harmful, but that he
    needed to use his discretion – even if that meant making
    mistakes until he figured it out. What worked for me would not necessarily be applicable to him. To deprive him the experience of making mistakes, I believe, would be injustice on my part. My parents always made life so easy for me. That is, until my first encounter with adversity, which resulted in a diagnosis of depression.
    Growing up with a sense of entitlement is hardly preparation for the real world. I wish I could have learned at a younger age, when you face you fears,
    you can deal with virtually anything.



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