At Galileo, when we talk about courage, we don’t mean staring down danger or taking crazy risks. Our brand of courage—one of the five essential elements of an innovator’s mindset—simply means creating without the fear of failure holding you back.

When kids are too worried about “getting the wrong answer” or “being bad at” something, they can miss out on the important learning that comes from making mistakes and the joy of succeeding at something hard.

That’s why practicing how to freely share ideas, embrace challenges and try new things with gusto is baked into every project the Galileo team designs. And fortunately, it’s also easy to do at home!

Use the tips below to start encouraging courage in your kids—because they can do truly amazing things when they aren’t worried about doing them wrong.

1. See potential your kids may not see in themselves

Some roles or projects might feel out of reach to your kids. If you can encourage them to embrace the challenge anyway—and accept failure as part of the process—they’ll find they can often do more than they think.

2. ENVISION the long-term reward

If work is tied to a higher purpose, kids are more willing to do something that feels scary. Help them create a vision for what wonderful doors might open once they master playing piano, drawing or multiplication.


When your kids seem afraid of doing something, ask them, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Follow that up with, “And if that happened, what would happen next?” Odds are, the actual risks aren’t that scary after all.

4. CELEBRATE small victories

Help your child break down big or intimidating projects into small victories that build confidence—and skills.

5. Allow time for multiple iterations

At Galileo, we design projects with enough time for kids to create something, test it and recreate it based on what they learned from testing. Allowing space for kids to try, fail and use what they learn to improve helps them get more comfortable failing.

6. Recognition for risks

When you see your kids do something courageous, give them specific recognition for it. Instead of praising the results, focus on the courage it took to try something new or take on a challenge. At Galileo, we create displays full of campers’ “marvelous mistakes” to celebrate their creative risk taking.

7. Show them their progress

It’s easy to forget how far we’ve come. Show your kids a video of an early dance recital or soccer game and they won’t believe how much they’ve progressed.

8. Be brave yourself

Setting a courageous example is the most powerful thing you can do. Don’t be afraid to try something new in front of your kids. They think you’re great at everything—show them you still have new things to try and marvelous mistakes to make!

Courage isn’t about staring down danger or taking crazy risks. It’s simply about the opportunity to explore, share, try—and fail. Who knows what your kids will be able to create when they’re free from the fear of getting it wrong?