The gift of failure : how the best parents learn to let go so their children can succeed / Jessica Lahey.
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- ISBN: 9780062299239
- ISBN: 0062299239
- Physical Description: xxvii, 272 pages ; 24 cm
- Edition: First edition.
- Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 
- Copyright: ©2015
|Bibliography, etc. Note:||
Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-259) and index.
|Formatted Contents Note:||
Introduction: How I learned to let go -- How failure became a dirty word: A brief history of American parenting -- Why parenting for dependence doesn't work: The power of intrinsic motivation -- Less really is more: Parenting for autonomy and competence -- Encouragement from the sidelines: The real connection between praise and self-esteem -- Household duties: Laundry as an opportunity for competence -- Friends: Accomplices to failure and the formation of identity -- Sports: Losing as an essential childhood experience -- Middle school: Prime time for failure -- High school and beyond: Toward real independence -- Parent-teacher partnerships: How our fear of failure undermines education -- Homework: How to help without taking over -- Grades: The real value of a low score -- Conclusion: What I've learned from letting go.
This manifesto focuses on the critical school years when parents must allow their children to experience the disappointment and frustration that occur from life's inevitable problems so that they can grow up to be successful, resilient, and self-reliant adults. Modern parenting is defined by an unprecedented level of overprotectiveness: parents who rush to school at the whim of a phone call to deliver forgotten assignments, who challenge teachers on report card disappointments, mastermind children's friendships, and interfere on the playing field. As teacher and writer Jessica Lahey explains, even though these parents see themselves as being highly responsive to their children's well-being, they aren't giving them the chance to experience failure -- or the opportunity to learn to solve their own problems. Overparenting has the potential to ruin a child's confidence and undermine their education. Teachers don't just teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. They teach responsibility, organization, manners, restraint, and foresight -- important life skills children carry with them long after they leave the classroom. Lahey lays out a blueprint with advice for handling homework, report cards, social dynamics, and sports. Most importantly, she sets forth a plan to help parents learn to step back and embrace their children's failures.
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