#024 Tools for Raising Thriving Teens

Episode Summary

In this episode, Mandy Fontaine, former collegiate athlete and licensed school counselor, talks about the importance of a growth mindset and how understanding what a developing brain can and can’t do can significantly improve your teen’s success. She uses her training and experience to coach and educate teens about personal development and fostering the right mindset.

Episode Notes

Embracing a growth mindset needs to start young. As I speak with Mandy about her work with 16-25-year-olds, she elaborates on just how much development a young brain is still going through. She gives her tips and tricks to understanding teens’ brains from a neuroscience perspective and how self-awareness can lead to real growth and success.

Mandy showcases how working with teens to get them ready for college and life is about so much more than test prep and ensuring they know how to do laundry (though that is important). Encouraging them to grow their emotional intelligence and making room for failure are crucial aspects of teaching your teen “how to adult.”

I loved speaking with Mandy, and she provided some incredible resources for parents and coaches to learn more about a growth mindset. Because as it turns out, we need to embrace that mentality as well and are more than capable of adopting new parenting techniques.

It turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks. But, it’s best to start early, and that is Mandy’s specialty.


  • Characteristics of 12 to 25-year-old developing brains
  • How to instill a growth mindset in your child
  • Tips for correctly offering praise that doesn’t undermine a growth mindset
  • The power of using the word yet and how to do so

Meet Our Guest

As a former collegiate athlete, licensed professional school counselor, high school athletics coach, and now life & personal development coach, Mandy Fontaine is using her 20+ years of experience to empower and build confident young women through her coaching business, Girl Thriving.

Over the years, Mandy found that students typically do not want to share what they are going through with their parents, may not want to talk about life’s challenges in a school setting (their social space) with their school counselor, and often think that if they see a counselor outside of school that “something is wrong with them.”

To her, COACHING is a way to reach more teens and young adults in a brave space that allows them to build self-awareness, empowerment & work through life’s obstacles in a healthy way that strengthens their mental health and overall personal development.

Mandy is an educator at heart, so she uses coaching techniques that are rooted in neuroscience and helps teens create new habits that empower them to “level-up” in all areas of their life; physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually.

She believes that ALL teens & young adults need a coach in their lives!

Listen on…the Flourish Site, Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon Music, Stitcher, or your favorite platform. 

“College & Career Clarity with Lisa is so helpful!”  ← Is that you? If so, please consider rating and reviewing my show so I can resource more families and eliminate overwhelm. Thank you!!

Links mentioned in this episode

Launch College & Career Clarity Course

Launch College and Career Clarity Facebook Community

Mandy’s Website

“Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain” by Sara-Jayne Blakemore

“The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults” by Frances Jensen

“Mindset – Updated Edition: Changing The Way You think To Fulfil Your Potential” by Dr. Carol Dweck

Mandy’s Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn 


[3:04] Mandy talks about why the switch to coaching was her way to serve an underserved need and improve teen mindsets.

[4:58] Defining adolescence and thinking of the teen brain from a neuroscience standpoint allows you to start changing how you think about learning.

[8:23] Neuroplasticity means we’re all capable of growth and change.

[9:28] Mandy coaches teens with growing their self-awareness of their overall health, including physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects.

[11:00] Developing the language to discuss emotions and foster a positive mindset can help teens embrace their strengths.

[12:42] Mandy’s tricks for creating a growth mindset, which comes from Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, generate positivity without inflating a teen’s ego.

[13:38] A growth versus a fixed mindset is beneficial to us all. It is especially important for teens because it helps them understand that trying hard and failing isn’t the end. Mandy coaches teens to find the sweet spot of talent, love, and effort.

[15:27] Recognizing effort is just as important as recognizing success.

[16:21] Mandy discusses tricks to praising your teens successfully and the Five Positives.

[18:47] Parents need to fight back against our kneejerk reaction to “make it all better” when something goes wrong because it can affect how our teens develop coping skills.

[22:25] Episode Two featured New York Times Best-Seller Julie Lythcott Haimes. Her book, How to Raise an Adult, echoed this same mentality.

[23:45] Mandy talks about Girl Thriving and its start through the mentoring program she was involved in and her coaching experience.

Access the episode transcript here.