What does it mean to raise resilient kids? Well it doesn’t mean your child won’t get upset if they lose a game, or occasionally cry if they get frustrated.

That’s perfectly normal.

We want to make it clear that when we say resilience we’re not talking about bubble wrapping kids to protect them from hardship or teaching them to suppress their emotions.

On the contrary, it’s quite the opposite.

Resilient kids experience setbacks, but they have the mental strength to dust themselves off and keep going. Even if they’re unsure of where to go next.

Encouraging this ability to carry on and keep trying is key to helping kids reach their potential in life.


Resilient kids have a growth mindset. They believe that they can always improve, and that success comes from effort.


At the end of the day, isn’t that what we want most for our kids?

To have the self-confidence and mental strength to keep going when things get tough?

Helping kids develop resiliency isn’t easy. It requires parents to take a step back and let their kids struggle or fail sometimes, so they can learn from their mistakes.

RELATED: Growth Mindset Parenting: Raising Kids Who Won’t Quit

These types of challenges are what it takes for kids to grow into successful adults.

If you’re a parent that wants to raise resilient kids, then be sure to avoid these common parenting mistakes that deprive children of the chance to develop mental toughness.

If you avoid these ten traps, you’ll be on your way to raising strong, resilient kids who can tackle any obstacle that comes their way!


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Raising Resilient Kids: 10 Mistakes To Avoid


1. Making Your Kids The Center Of Your World

If your entire life revolves around your kids, they can grow up with an entitlement mentality.

And we know you don’t want to raise self-absorbed adults who think the world owes them something. Those kind of people aren’t likely to get far in life.

Teach your kids to focus on what gifts they have to offer, rather than what they can get from others.

Also, don’t give your power away to your children. Letting them dictate what and how they’ll do things doesn’t encourage resilience.

Life isn’t always fair or easy. Kids need the opportunity to learn how to do tasks they don’t necessarily want to do, like chores.

You can allow them some choices, but your children still need to understand that the family boss is you.


2. Letting Kids Play The Victim Card

Losing the spelling bee or failing a history test doesn’t make you a victim. Loss, rejection, failure…these are all a normal part of life.

Don’t let your kids fall into the victim mentality trap.

RELATED: Growth Mindset Parenting: Raising Kids Who Won’t Quit

Help them understand that no matter how hard the situation or unfair the circumstance, they have choices about how they react and what they can do.

They are not helpless!  Guide them towards a positive action they can take.


3. Not Letting Them Make Mistakes

Perfectionism always backfires. It’s okay to want your kids to DO their best. But expecting them to always BE the best is a recipe for disaster.

Mistakes are wonderful learning opportunities!  

If you can try something, fail, and then try again a different way…that’s how great problem-solving happens.

Resist the urge to jump in and “fix” everything!

RELATED: How Kids Succeed: Resilience And Grit

Kids who aren’t overly focused on winning first place, but rather on trying to be the best version of themselves, won’t give up or lose self worth when faced with someone who’s better at something.

Instead, they’ll learn from the experience and improve their own performance.


4. Letting Fear Win

Although keeping kids safe is a perfectly natural parenting instinct, playing it TOO SAFE teaches your child that fear must be avoided AT ALL COSTS.

Which isn’t the lesson you want to impart.

Resilient kids know that the best way to tackle something fearful, is to face it head-on. 

Teach your kids that it’s okay to be afraid, and that what makes us courageous is taking action despite our fear.

You’ll raise kids who aren’t afraid to take on new challenges.


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5. Letting Kids Shirk Their Responsibility

If you let your kids skip out on responsibilities, like soccer practice or chores, you’re letting them skip out on developing the mental resolve it takes to have follow-through.

RELATED: Why Chores Help Kids More Than You Think

It’s tempting to let them coast because you want them to have a “happy childhood”, but resilient kids that keep their commitments grow into responsible adults.


6. Feeling Responsible For Your Kids’ Emotions

If you’re always calming your kids down when they’re upset, or doing things to cheer them up when they’re sad, you’re taking away their ability to manage their own emotional life.

RELATED: Anger Management Skills For Kids

Instead, proactively teach your kids the skills they need to manage their own feelings.

You don’t want them to always rely on you to do it for them.


7. Using Punishment Instead of Discipline

Punishment is a fear-based tactic that involves making kids suffer for their mistakes.

Discipline, however, is about teaching them what’s right, and how they can do better in the future.

RELATED: Positive Discipline – Parent With Love Not Fear

Raising a child who’s afraid of being in trouble isn’t the same as raising a child who wants to make good choices.

To raise resilient kids, practice positive discipline and encourage them to make better choices.


8. Protecting Kids From Hurt

Don’t be the overprotective parent that swoops in immediately to make the pain go away.

Getting hurt, feeling sadness, anxiety, or unease are a completely normal part of life.

Let kids experience it! Don’t immediately try to take the pain away…guide them through tough emotions, lovingly, so they learn how to handle hardship.

RELATED: Warning Signs You Might Be A Helicopter Parent


9. Avoiding The Uncomfortable

When learning something new, there will always be a period of uncomfortableness before you figure out what you’re doing.

If you let your kids give up, instead of struggling with a new problem for awhile, you’re instilling negative habits like avoidance and procrastination.

RELATED: Fun Books That Encourage A Growth Mindset For Kids

It’s easy to take a shortcut or drop something when it gets challenging…but resist the urge and role model perseverance.

Resilient kids are the ones that learn how to power through periods of uncomfortableness to come out stronger on the other side.


10. Not Making Priorities Clear

What are the things you value most? Is that where you’re spending your time?

It’s easy to get so caught up in the craziness of our day-to-day lives that we neglect to spend time talking about and doing those things we say we value most. But remember, your kids are always watching!

If you say community, church, health, charity, etc. are what you value, then those things should be prioritized accordingly.

This teaches kids how to prioritize their own values and lead confident, productive lives.


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