My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.

(Desiree Panlilio).

 In the journey of parenting and guiding our teens, the concept of failure has undergone a transformation from a mere action to an identity. It’s a word laden with negative connotations, one that doesn’t encapsulate the wealth of learning opportunities embedded within setbacks. That’s precisely why I prefer not to use the word “failure.” Instead, I view these challenges as hurdles—temporary obstacles that require us to pause, reflect, and strategize our next move.

In cultivating resilience in our teens, adopting a growth mindset is pivotal. It involves viewing hurdles not as insurmountable roadblocks but as stepping stones in the continuous journey of personal development. I acknowledge that setbacks can be painful; they might bruise the ego and test our resolve. However, they are not defining moments but rather problems to be dealt with, evaluated, and eventually overcome.

By replacing the word “failure” with “hurdle,” we redefine the narrative surrounding challenges. Hurdles become something to navigate, to move over and through, and most importantly, to learn from. Each hurdle becomes a unique opportunity to enhance resilience, cultivating a more robust and capable individual. It’s a transformative process that not only overcomes the immediate obstacle but also contributes to the growth of essential skills and abilities.

Acknowledging the discomfort and emotional weight that can accompany setbacks, reframing them as hurdles shifts the focus from dwelling on what went wrong to exploring the valuable lessons embedded within the experience. The essence lies in fostering a mindset that sees challenges not as setbacks but as opportunities for personal and emotional growth.

In this context, overcoming a hurdle becomes a triumph, a testament to one’s resilience and problem-solving skills. The process involves a deliberate and thoughtful evaluation of the situation, understanding the root causes, and strategizing ways to surmount the challenge. As parents, our role is not to shield our teens from every hurdle but to empower them with the skills to tackle these obstacles head-on.

Teaching our teens to navigate hurdles cultivates adaptability, a key component of resilience. It instills the belief that challenges are temporary and surmountable, fostering a sense of confidence in their ability to overcome adversity. The resilience built through overcoming hurdles becomes a foundational trait that serves them well in various aspects of life.

Ultimately, the journey of transforming setbacks into growth is about creating a more resilient and empowered version of oneself. It’s a continuous process of self-discovery, where each hurdle serves as a building block, contributing to the formation of an amazing individual capable of achieving extraordinary things. As parents, let’s embrace the role of guides, encouraging our teens to view hurdles not as roadblocks but as opportunities to sculpt a stronger, more resilient self.