How Mistakes Can Strengthen Our Families


I used to have a very hard time seeing anything but the ways I had failed when I faced struggles as a parent. If I was dealing with siblings fighting, I figured it was because I had done everything wrong and failed to teach the kids to get along. If one of my kids struggled to focus when doing school work, I chastised myself for not knowing the way to help them learn better.

I didn't realize at the time that working through these struggles was actually making us stronger as a family.

Each time we solve a new problem, or make a mistake and learn from it, we're gaining resilience. If we spend our life constantly running from struggle, we stay stuck.

Instead, as I developed more of a growth mindset in my parenting, I began to see the fertile ground that mistakes offer us. The times when things are a mess and we're questioning everything, are also the times we have opportunities to make changes, add new tools and let go of what no longer works.

It feels messy to grow, but it's not wrong. Part of your job as a parent is to notice when things are no longer working and change course.

This realization, that challenges are the very thing we need in order to grow, has made it a little easier to be forgiving on myself when things go wrong. It has allowed me to see these difficulties as a part of our family growing and learning together.

In the Bounceback Parenting Credo I say:

  • We believe everyone can learn and grow, starting right from where they are – Choosing to look at past mistakes and current challenges not as indications of failure, but as the foundation for growth and resilience.

From my book Bounceback Parenting on shifting our mindset when it comes to struggle:



When we realize we are not doing it wrong if we struggle, it is indeed freeing. And in fact, what’s happening is that we’re moving into the growth mindset.

  • Instead of believing we need to control everything to have a family life free of challenges, we can see challenges as opportunities for growing together.
  • Instead of believing we have to make our kids happy, we can see opportunities for them to grow more resilient.
  • Instead of believing others are doomed to fail, we can look for their strengths and see opportunities for them to build on that foundation.

Letting go of the notion that right choices create a life without challenges empowers us to stop being so hard on ourselves and start seeing opportunities for growth.

More Resources On Developing a Growth Mindset: