Mr. Error: A Lifelong Companion

Many parents beat themselves for not handling every problem perfectly. This is never helpful. Being able to admit a mistake — and correct it — is a sign of character, not weakness.

Although primarily known for her work with children, Maria Montessori had tremendous insight into adults, too — such as her guidance on developing "a friendly feeling towards error".

Supposing we study the phenomenon of error in itself; it becomes apparent that everyone makes mistakes. This is one of life’s realities, and to admit it is already to have taken a great step forward. If we are to tread the narrow path of truth and keep our hold upon reality, we have to agree that all of us can err … So it is well to cultivate a friendly feeling towards error, to treat it as a companion inseparable from our lives ...

Whichever way we look, a certain ‘Mr. Error’ is always to be seen! If we seek perfection, we must pay attention to our defects, for it is only by correcting these that we can improve ourselves. We have to face them in the full light of day and realize their existence as something unavoidable throughout life.
— Maria Montessori, from The Absorbent Mind

If you’re a parent who wants to be more accepting of "errors” with your child and with yourself, visit Parenting FastTrack for quick and lasting guidance.