From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

July 15

All too often, as parents and teachers, we convey to our children that nothing but top performance meets with our approval.

Donnie, my youngest third-grader, was a shy, nervous perfectionist. His fear of failure kept him from classroom games, he seldom answered questions, and written assignments reduced him to nail-biting frustration. Even Mary Anne, my student teacher, was baffled by this little boy who feared he might make a mistake.

Then one day, she took a canister filled with pencils from the desk we shared.

“See these pencils, Donnie? See how the erasers are worn? That’s because Mrs. Lindstrom and I make mistakes, too. But we erase the mistakes and try again. That’s what you must learn to do.”

She stood up. “I’ll leave one of these pencils so you’ll remember that it’s all right to make mistakes as long you erase them and try again.”

Aletha Jane Lindstrom

Every child must learn
that it is all right to make mistakes.

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