I see the positive impact of mastery with young learners TK-12 every school year.  Mental health providers are often trained to believe that when children feel better emotionally, they will do better – in the classroom, on the playground, and on the playing field.  

This is true and important, however, we also train interns (MFT, MSW, PsyD), to use a “strength-based youth-resiliency approach.”  When children do well at something, they develop a sense that accomplishment is possible, even if it’s not not fully achieved yet.   How many times have we heard children say, “That’s impossible,” only to discover that they actually could do it.  Tenacity and determination are skills that can be learned. When this happens, children’s sense of confidence and emotional well being improves.

When children and teenagers see and feel that it’s possible to achieve their goals, their spirits are lifted, and they become more hopeful.     Teachers of youth with special needs see this every day.    Mastery and grit in the classroom, on the field and in the gym supports healthy mind, body and spirit in youth.  

The combination of people working together to support healthy youth development leads to lasting positive change in the lives of young people.   It’s why we do what we do.  

– James Wogan 

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