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Mistakes and Learning. Developing our online course.

We are so excited to see our 200th enrolment in our Creative Ways to Help Children Manage Emotions online course recently! We learnt so much along the way as we created the course and it caused us to reflect on how important mistakes are in the process of learning. We thought we’d share some of our mistakes and learnings with you, along with some of our reflections on how to support children and families with this in therapy.

Filming our Creative Ways to Help Children Manage Emotions online course was certainly a learning experience. We made so many mistakes along the way and we sometimes wondered whether it was worth persisting. Like all new learning experiences we’ve had to sit with the uncomfortable feeling that not knowing creates, and we’ve had to acknowledge our disappointment and frustration in our mistakes and be willing to learn from these and try again.

Learning a new skill takes a lot of resilience. It requires a vulnerability – a capacity to fail and to try again and again, all the while believing that to do so is worthwhile. It’s a skill we need to promote in the children we see. Talking about our mistakes normalises the experience for children and allows us to demonstrate how mistakes help us learn. Indeed those of you who have our book, Creative Ways to Help Children Managing Big Feelings, may be familiar with our Mistake Jars activity. Similarly when working with students or supervisees we often share some of our mistakes as a way of normalising their experiences and supporting them to value the learning that mistakes foster.

So it is with a playful sharing spirit that we offer up some of the mistakes we made and the learning we gleaned when filming our online course:

We learnt that –

  • We have facial expressions we’ve never noticed before.
  • Filming a workshop takes a lot longer than presenting it face to face.
  • A good quality microphone will pick up a dog sleeping on a beanbag and a budgie chirping in the next room.
  • It is not a good idea to try to film anything when you have six children around.
  • When you manage to arrange for children and pets to be off set you will still have to deal with neighbours’ lawn mowers and power tools.
  • Most importantly, we learnt that it is essential to check that the camera is turned on, focussed, and set to take a video not a series of still photos!

We were able to learn from our mistakes and resolve all these issues, with the exception of our facial expressions, which we’ll need to accept! We have been so pleased to see the positive response to our online course.

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