Encouraging A Culture Of “Mistakes” In Children

Think. When was the last time you got upset with your kid for making mistakes?

Yesterday! Right!

But imagine. If Edison had not made more than 3000 mistakes, would he have invented the bulb ever?

Now, can you imagine allowing your child to make 1000 mistakes doing the same thing or activity?

The answer is a clear NO, right!

Can you at the least allow 99 mistakes or may be 9 repeated mistakes for the same activity?

As parent, you will most certainly tell the child not to waste time and start focusing on something more constructive.


The essence of every invention is a series of ‘mistakes’.

Our education system, our social conditioning and our social environment – all of these are intolerant to mistakes.

We train our child from the very beginning on how to adhere to the regimented rules of society and education as we understand it. As s/he grows, if the child overturns, oversteps or challenges these rules, it is termed as defiance.

What we call discipline in studies or our schooling system is actually a disciplined way to deflate and curb creativity. We tell the child from the very beginning that there is only one way to think and achieve tasks. It is a mistake if you deviate. We program them to be linear.


For example, if you have seen children often scribble when they start to draw. What we call ‘scribbling’ is actually their free flow of imagination.

Your kid’s brain pictures the world differently than you do. They can interpret the world as they want. Adults may call it doodle, but try asking the child once to describe what s/he has drawn.

You will be amazed with explanation they give.

Of course schooling is important as long as it fosters creativity (but we all know it is linear education). Of course discipline is necessary. But so is the path of making and allowing kids to make mistakes.

The current education system doesn’t allow constructive mistakes or for that matter any form of “mistakes” if it doesn’t subscribe to their definition. Our education is based upon certain curriculum and pattern which when followed results in grade.

But, as parents, let us take the responsibility to encourage the child to make as many ‘constructive’ mistakes as possible. Let the creative mind get a free outlet.

Let your kid know that it is more than alright to make mistakes.

This way, you will allow the child to find solutions to problems and things even if s/he fails at the task.

As parents, you will not only open the gates of creativity in your child, but automatically train the child towards a problem solving attitude. Rather than a child just seeking answers from elders or social norms, that kill creativity.

Let us together raise a generation of inventors, discoverers, creators and entrepreneurs.

Recent success stories from the start-up world will clearly show that you don’t need college or degrees to succeed in life. Rather, you need creativity, latitude and the will to be different.

(The author is Script.)