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Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” 

We all want our children to be resilient…to have the drive to get back up and tackle the problem a different way after being knocked down, right? Even if it seems “impossible”? 

In coordination with Place2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week this month, let’s talk about how we, as parents, can help cultivate a growth mindset in our children and how to honor their growth on a daily basis. 

5 Ways to Build a Growth Mindset in Children

Teach your children it is okay to be wrong.

Mistakes help us to learn what doesn’t work. Upon creating the light bulb that would drive the concept of “electricity” over the next century, Thomas Edison spoke of his many failures in his attempt to discover the successful combination of circuits, famously saying “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that did not work.”

Teach your child to try out new ideas on their own.

By nature, your child will come to you with problems they want you to solve. Don’t! Instead, empower your child by encouraging them to come up with and try out their own ideas.

Make it a point to model that nothing is “too hard”

Whether it’s learning to tie their shoes or figuring out a math problem – kids need to learn that sometimes it just takes a bit of practice and creativity to solve problems. So instead of viewing “hard” situations as impossible or as a nuisance, try to encourage your child to see these situations as a challenge that they can conquer. 

Talk about your mistakes and how they make you grow.

For example, going through difficult times in my life led me to discover new passions, which ultimately led me to a new, very fulfilling career. If I had not been open to growth and leaning in to the challenges, that would not have happened. By speaking with your children about your own story, they will see firsthand the importance of growth and resilience. 

Celebrate improvements, no matter how small!

Part of a growth mindset is honoring the steps in between reaching goals. Perhaps your child hasn’t mastered something “yet,” but that doesn’t mean progress cannot be celebrated. Celebrate that test that is a whole letter grade higher than the last one, the morning without a meltdown, making a healthy choice for dinner, etc. Progress is progress, no matter how small!

Further Resources on Growth, Change & Resilience

If you found this article helpful, check out our other articles on growth, change, and resilience. 

Final Thoughts

At the Lily Jo Project, we understand that parenting and working with youth can be challenging. That’s why we offer a variety of parenting and mental health content on our website (https://www.thelilyjoproject.com/) that can be of assistance.

We also offer a public community on Facebook that provides a forum to seek support with the day-to-day questions and concerns that go with raising a family. 

I moderate the group, and we would love to have you! You can request to join here – looking forward to seeing you there!

About the Author: Brandy Browne

Brandy Browne is a care coordinator for a local mental health agency in the United States, as well as a family coach and blogger for UnStuck (www.unstucks.com) – her family coaching service aimed at helping families develop positive habits and breaking the cycle of generational trauma and poverty. 

Her education is in early and elementary education, and she also has a masters degree in parenting and child/adolescent development. Brandy is a wife to her high school sweetheart of fifteen years, and together they share three children, aged ten, seven, and five. In her free time, she enjoys reading, gardening, writing, and distance running.

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