How you can help your child to stop making silly mistakes
11 June 2021

How you can help your child to stop making silly mistakes

This has been a very common experience amongst parents, with each a very baffling story to tell. Though the stories might vary, the concluding question remains the same - “How could they not know the answer to that question…? We have practiced it so many times!” or “Why do they keep forgetting to punctuate their sentences…?”

And yes….it is a big why. Why do children often make ‘silly’ mistakes in their work? Is it a case of simple forgetfulness, or actual carelessness…..or is there something much bigger at play here…?

These mistakes are labelled careless because they could have earned the child some very easy points in the task. So, perhaps before going down the usual route of presumption, thinking it might be for one (or more) of the following reasons:

- lack of concentration / distracted

- rushing off to do something more ‘fun’

- simply don’t like the topic/subject

It might be an idea to delve a little deeper into the issue with your child. If we want to get to the bottom of the matter, we need to try and establish the exact areas where the issues occur.

This could stem from poor reading and comprehension, or complacency.

In such cases, the ideal thing to do would be to have a discussion with your child.

So how can you help your child reduce careless mistakes?

Find ways to motivate your child to take pride in their work. This will ensure they give their work the once over before submission – because they are proud of it.

This will have a knock-on effect, as if they take pride in what they are doing, they will take the time to ensure it is done properly. This would, however, need to be balanced with the time allocated for the task. But you can rest assured that the number of mistakes will be less as a result.

Go over the work with your child before it gets marked. Explain this to your child as being the final check-point the work goes through before being marked. In many cases, children are not aware of how to properly self-proof their work, so this could be used as an opportunity to show them how to do so.

Practice makes perfect, so this will need time before your child becomes quite thorough. And even more time before the silly mistakes are eradicated.

This practice can be applied in other real-life situations, as this will get your child into the habit of double-checking in general.

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