Challenge Growth: Learn About It

What Does It Mean to Challenge Growth?

“Being willing to kind of push them beyond what they even believe they can do.  That’s kind of how we operate in our house.” — From a Search Institute focus group with parents (2013)

As humans, we naturally take risks and compete with each other. We also like to be physically and mentally stimulated. It’s how we have survived. In other words, “challenging ourselves and each other is a part of human nature.”1

Parenting relationships also challenge our kids to grow, learn, and improve. We hold them accountable and guide them in positive directions. We do this by setting appropriate boundaries, rules, and limits. Often, our kids also challenge us.

Challenging growth involves these four actions:

  • Inspire—Help me see future possibilities for myself.
  • Expect—Make it clear that you want me to live up to my potential.
  • Stretch—Recognize my abilities while pushing me to strengthen them.
  • Limit—Hold me accountable for boundaries and rules.

We challenge our kids to grow by pushing them beyond what’s comfortable and raising questions. We also test their abilities in ways that are demanding, stimulating, and motivating.

Research Source

1. Dailey, R. M. (2008). Parental challenge: Developing and validating a measure of how parents challenge their adolescents. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 25(4), 643–669. doi:10.1177/0265407508093784