“If you’re not failing, you are not innovating,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon.

Look out for your child’s mishaps, bumps, and failures and get excited for those moments.

Top CEOs are doing the same. In fact, they won’t hire people who haven’t had them or try to avoid them.

When it happens, don’t step into bulldozer parenting (charging up your bulldozer and removing all obstacles from your child’s path). Whether your child is 2 or 16, do this instead:

  • Silence: Let your child have a moment (or a day or two depending on the degree and impact of the situation). Say, “Take some time. Let this settle in.” Sitting in uncomfortable emotion aids alchemy.
  • Walk back the cat: Also called behavior chain analysis, help your child go back to the early part of the situation—what was going on, what were their vulnerabilities, their values, and what decision-making process did they use? They will need your help with this, and the sooner you start doing this, the better they will get over time.
  • Reality-testing: Challenge limiting beliefs or blame of others. Our life improves when we take total responsibility for our own choices. If your child wants to talk about others (you, friends, teachers…) say, “Let’s go through it and only start with “I…”
  • Values: We are all working to get our needs met, based on our stated values. Figure out what values were at play for your child. How was your child attempting to get their needs and values met? What’s another way that may have worked better?
  • Make amends: If relevant, call, write, or complete any needed reparations. Inspire these, rather than force. Help your child clarify their values and the desire to make the reparations will surface. Validate the uncomfortable feeling that may come with having to do so, but resist the urge to make an easier path for your child.
  • Shake it off: Be like a duck and shake the water off. Help your child feel and validate their emotions—they are designed to move us to a new way of being. Then, get back to playing full out. Raise a change-maker.