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Develop Foresight Through Hindsight

Tags

Social-Emotional Learning All Ages Strategy

Skills

Flexible Thinking Self-regulation

Develop Foresight Through Hindsight

All students, particularly those who are prone to impulsive behavior or repeatedly make the same mistakes

How To Apply It!

  1. While you never want to unnecessarily dwell on past mistakes, students need to understand and be able to connect how their actions or decisions have resulted in a negative impact for themselves or others. If students do not reflect on bad experiences and why they occurred, they will not fully appreciate the importance of making better decisions going forward.
  2. Find the delicate balance of not making a child feel bad about himself, yet still discuss past situations in such a way to help him develop hindsight and begin to prevent future mistakes.
  3. Discuss situations as soon as you can so details are not in dispute and some of the emotion remains to get at the "why" events transpired.
  4. For some students, engaging in role playing scenarios around what happened can be a very effective way for them to understand and work through a past experience without feeling the pressure of a serious conversation.
  5. While identifying the mistakes is important, it is equally important that adults collaborate with the student to develop specific strategies to help him or her avoid repeating the behavior. For example, children with attention and impulsivity weaknesses might have difficulty controlling their reactions. While the improvement might only begin with a heightened awareness of the impact of actions, they might need help controlling their emotions. It might very well be up to the adult to realize it and offer a solution.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

While there is plenty of truth to the adage that we learn best from our mistakes, we only improve when we understand why the mistake happened and make an effort to correct where we went wrong. It is natural to want to forget about mistakes and move on, but it is important for adults to help students go through the difficult process of reflection so that the mistake becomes a learning experience.