How to Raise a Kid That Never Gives Up
In life, bumps in the road are inevitable. This is why it’s so important to raise children who never give up.
When mistakes, challenges, or failures occur, we want our kids to handle them with grace, not be too hard on themselves, and maintain the courage and positivity to try again.
That sounds like a tall order, but there are some simple steps you can take to raise a resilient child who never gives up.
Allow Your Child to Fail
It may sound crazy, but it’s important to let your child make mistakes sometimes.
Rushing to the rescue may feel like good parenting, but it can ultimately cripple your child’s ability to succeed and thrive on his own. If he never experiences failure, he’ll never learn about the consequences of his actions, and he’ll never learn important coping skills.
The more your child learns important lessons and develops the skills needed to bounce back from failure, the more resilient and persistent he’ll become.
After you let your child fail, take the time to help him brainstorm some solutions. Don’t simply provide a solution for him, but allow him to talk through the problem-solving process with you. Ask him what went wrong this time, and how he might be able to avoid this in the future.
Talking through your child’s failures will show him that failure isn’t an excuse to give up. It just means that he needs to reassess the situation and develop better strategies or approaches to use next time.
Ultimately, something good can come of failure. The more you fail, the more you learn, grow, and eventually succeed.
Ask Your Child for Advice
Organizational psychologist Adam Grant makes a habit of asking his children for advice when he experiences setbacks.
This is a great strategy for a number of reasons: It shows your child that everyone makes mistakes and failure is a normal part of life. It allows you to model a “never give up” attitude, as you seek solutions instead of simply quitting. And if your child struggles with a similar issue in the future, you can remind him of the excellent advice he gave to you.
Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has pioneered research on what is called “growth mindset.” Growth mindset is when kids (or adults) believe that they can learn and achieve through practice and effort.
Kids with growth mindsets embrace challenges and believe that if they keep trying, they’ll eventually succeed.
On the other end of the spectrum, a “fixed mindset” is the belief that traits like intelligence are fixed. You’re either smart, or you’re not.
Kids with fixed mindsets give up at the first sign of difficulty. If something is challenging, they believe they have reached the limit of their intelligence or ability, and they prefer not to try at all.
You can help your child develop a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset by praising effort, strategies, and the process, instead of only praising traits (like intelligence).
If you want to raise a kid who never gives up, allow him to experience failure, and then work with him to problem-solve. Ask him for advice when you encounter setbacks of your own, and learn to praise his effort in order to foster a growth mindset.
By following these simple steps, you’ll raise a resilient child who can manage any bump in the road with a positive, can-do attitude.