When thinking about how to best prepare our children for the big wide world out there, developing resilience comes to mind. We hope our kids can feel secure and confident as they learn the skills they will need to cope with everyday challenges, disappointments, adversity, and trauma.

One way to consider preparing our little miracles for the world is to include both nurture and challenge in their experiences with us. We want our kids to have the inner strength that comes from feeling unconditional love and knowing their needs will be met, and we also want them to develop the confidence that comes from taking on a new challenge, working hard, and trying their best.

We can play out the nurture-challenge preparation by giving our children support and respect as we encourage new and increasingly difficult (yet manageable) experiences. For example, we might encourage a child to ride a bike without the training wheels while also offering patient, tender support and holding onto the seat of the bike, until the child “gets it.”

As parents, we ready our children for life when we encourage them to take on new challenges and then nurture them as they try.