Straight Up Guide To Raising Resilient Children

These guides were born out of Noah and Christine’s frustration with overly complicated and jargon-filled articles, newsletters, books, and therapy websites. Our mission is to create clear and practical guides in order to learn, grow from challenges, and lead more meaningful and impactful lives.


1. Say “good effort” or “you worked hard” when your child has done something well, rather than generic phrases like “excellent” or “good job.”


2. Explain that in order for the brain to grow we have to make mistakes.  

Failure = Learning.


3. During the car ride home from school or at the dinner table, encourage family members to engage in “failure talk” as a habit. Acknowledge and laugh at your own mistakes!


4.Normalize giving and receiving constructive criticism as a family in a caring and genuine way. For example, ask “Do you have any feedback for me?” or “Is there anything I can do differently next time?”


5. Respond to every mistake or setback with the two questions: 

“What did you learn?” and “What can you do differently next time?”


6. Give accomplishments rather than compliments.  Stay objective and focus on things that are in the child’s control. For example, “You were so brave to volunteer to speak in front of the class today” 



7. Ask “What did you learn?” rather than “what did you do?” at the end of the school-day.


8. Praise bravery – facing a fear or continuing with an activity in spite of fear, rather than what comes easily. For example, praise the child who is scared of public speaking and persisted in a try-out for the play, rather than for the A+ they got in their easiest subject.


9. Stop reassuring – Instead of saying: “everything will be ok,” try saying: 

“I’m not sure what will happen, but I know that you can handle it regardless. I believe in you.” 


10. Reframe a teacher’s job as someone who must always push the student to do less than perfect so the student has an opportunity to learn new things. Remind your child that consistent “A” grades can lead to boredom. 


11. Rather than demanding an apology for misbehavior, require that the child consider and state aloud what they need to do differently next time. 


Christine Izquierdo and Noah Laracy are the co-founders of Straight Up Treatment, an anxiety disorder specialty treatment center. Straight Up Treatment utilizes a variety of cognitive-behavioral approaches to treat anxiety-based conditions such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Social and Performance Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Depression, and Generalized Anxiety.


You can learn more about them here.


You can read more guides here.

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