How to correct mistakes in a way that produces anxiety free kids


Children who experience high rates of error see their mistakes as incontrovertible proof that they are “dumb.” Once this feeling takes hold, its grip is tenacious. The children’s self-esteem plummets, often never fully recovering.

Parents and teachers sense the children’s vulnerability and with the best of intentions, try to bolster their egos with compliments such as, “But you’re really smart,” and “Look at how many things you do well.”

Unfortunately, the comments rarely achieve their intended effects. As one student put it, “If I were really smart, they wouldn’t have to keep telling me.”

Acceptance is vital in creating anxiety free kids. But we cannot provide children with what they need until we have the techniques in place so that error becomes an infrequent occurrence and success becomes the dominant reality.

The key to effective teaching is to have the material designed so that it offers steady success.

In the area of teaching a child to read, our online reading program, the Reading Kingdom, is designed to limit error and to offer simple techniques to get past whatever limited errors do occur. For example, by the time a child is ready to read the books we provide them in the program, the program has already taught them all of the words in the book.

Within a couple of weeks of starting the program, the child is reading books and feeling total mastery of the material. The result is tremendous self-esteem based on real achievement.

If you’re looking to teach a child to read, check out the Reading Kingdom — our award-winning online reading program that has helped thousands of children to learn to read and write to a third grade level. Sign up for the Reading Kingdom’s 30 day free trial today.