Time and time again, the little people in our lives say and do the wrong thing. That’s because they’re still learning and they’re human. Just like us adults, they make mistakes. And just like us adults, sometimes their impulsive, knee-jerk reaction is the opposite of what they meant in their heart-of-hearts. However, the amazing thing about having a conscience is that we know when we’ve made a bad choice. Children are actually very good at knowing the difference between right and wrong.

We want to teach our children to self-regulate and strengthen their internal filter, so that they can take a moment, move past their poor choice, and act on the appropriate reaction. And, one of the easiest ways we can begin to teach this is by calmly saying two simple words when they’ve messed up: “Try again.” Giving kids a second chance is an easy way to help them learn to make good choices, to slow down and think before they act.

Rather than carrying out our knee-jerk reaction to scold or shame children when they’ve made a mistake, we can help by allowing them to rewind and rewrite the story. “Try again, buddy!” Eventually, with time and patience, you won’t need to give them a second chance because they’ll make better choices in the first place.

Written by Dana Kerford
Friendship Expert and Founder of URSTRONG