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7 Steps for Raising Resilient Kids & Teens: The Santa-Scrooge Approach

Hey mommas, ever wondered how to strike that perfect balance between being Santa Claus and Scrooge when nurturing self-reliant children and teens? This blog post dives into the secrets of nurturing resilient kids, drawing inspiration from Lynn G. Robbins's article, "Resilience—Spiritual Armor for Today’s Youth." Let's whip up a recipe for success that's part Santa Claus, part Scrooge, setting our kids up for resilience!

Santa Claus & Scrooge Parenting Balance
Santa Claus & Scrooge

Santa x Scrooge

Robbins emphasizes the importance of balancing support and independence in raising resilient children. He draws parallels between the extremes of Santa Claus (charity without self-reliance) and Scrooge (self-reliance without kindness) to highlight the need for a harmonious blend of both. Using the story of Helen Keller, Robbins showcases how her parents' overprotection hindered her progress while her teacher, Anne Sullivan, guided her towards self-reliance. Robbins uses this narrative to highlight the risks of "snowplow" parenting, which removes obstacles or shields kids from failure, hindering their growth.


Instead, Robbins advocates for a parenting style liken to the Savior's approach—strengthening children to bear their burdens rather than removing them altogether. This approach fosters resilience and independence, enabling children to tackle challenges while leaning on supportive guidance.


7 Tips for Raising Resilient Kids & Teens:


Embrace Failure: Encourage kids to see failure as a stepping stone for growth. When your 10-year-old's science project flops, discuss lessons learned instead of fixing it immediately.

 • Decision-Making Skills: Let them choose daily things, like socks or books. Decision-making is a muscle; it needs exercise! Allow them to plan family activities or pick extracurriculars.

 • Embrace Setbacks: Life's full of bumps. When your teenager faces a setback, be their anchor. Listen and empathize, letting them find their way. Let them feel the bumps. 

Teach Problem-Solving: Encourage brainstorming when they're stuck. Guide but don't solve outright. For an 8-year-old, if they lose a toy, help them brainstorm solutions. 

Support, Don't Rescue: Be their cheerleader. Offer hints rather than answers when they struggle. They learn by doing. 

Processing Emotions: Help them navigate feelings. Show coping strategies—like an "emotion chart" for younger kids or journaling and body scan guided meditation for teens.


Accountability with Grace: Show how to own mistakes without crumbling or dropping to shame. Apologizing and planning better next time are great examples.

Extra Examples of Daily Struggles:

Your 12-year-old comes home upset about a friendship fallout. Instead of diving in with advice, guide them through expressing emotions and brainstorming solutions. For your teenager, if they've bombed a test, help them analyze what went wrong and support a study plan.

These skills are building blocks for a lifetime. Mastering emotional intelligence and accountability empowers kids to conquer any challenge they face.


By navigating daily struggles with a balanced approach—providing guidance while letting them steer their course—parents empower their kids to be resilient, self-reliant individuals. This approach, inspired by Robbins's insights, equips kids to face challenges confidently and emerge as resilient champions!

Would you like to learn how to be more patient with your child so you can implement these steps? Watch my FREE on-demand masterclass, "8 Steps to Start Feeling Better and Becoming a More Patient Mom." HERE


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