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The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed Kindle Edition
The New York Times bestselling, groundbreaking manifesto on the critical school years when parents must learn to 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, Lahey reminds us. 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.
Providing a path toward solutions, Lahey lays out a blueprint with targeted 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. Hard-hitting yet warm and wise, The Gift of Failure is essential reading for parents, educators, and psychologists nationwide who want to help children succeed.
From the Back Cover
Modern parenting is defined by an unprecedented level of overprotectiveness: parents now rush to school to deliver forgotten assignments, challenge teachers on report card disappointments, mastermind children’s friendships, and interfere on the playing field. As teacher, journalist, and parent 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.Everywhere she turned, Lahey saw an obvious and startling fear of failure—in both her students and her own children. This fear has the potential to undermine children’s autonomy, competence, motivation, and their relationships with the adults in their lives. Providing a clear path toward solutions, Lahey lays out a blueprint with targeted advice for handling homework, report cards, social dynamics, and sports. Most important, she sets forth a plan to help parents learn to step back and embrace their children’s setbacks along with their success. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Instead of lecturing us about what we’re doing wrong, Jessica Lahey reveals what she did wrong with her own children and students―and how she systematically reformed her ways. A refreshing, practical book for parents who want to raise resilient kids but aren’t sure how to start.” -- Amanda Ripley, author of The Smartest Kids in the World
“This fascinating, thought-provoking book shows that to help children succeed, we must allow them to fail. Essential reading for parents, teachers, coaches, psychologists, and anyone else who wants to guide children towards lives of independence, creativity, and courage.” -- Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
“It’s hard to overstate the importance of this book. The Gift of Failure is beautifully written; it’s deeply researched; but most of all it’s the one book we all need to read if we want to instill the next generation with confidence and joy.” -- Susan Cain, author of Quiet
“Lahey offers one of the most important parenting messages of our times: Unless we allow our children to learn how to take on challenges, they won’t thrive in school and in life. Her extremely helpful book tells her story, compiles research, and provides hundreds of doable suggestions.” -- Ellen Galinsky, author of Mind in the Making
“How can we help our children grow to be resourceful, happy adults? Lahey shows in practical terms how to know what your child is ready for and how to offer support even as you encourage autonomy. A wise, engaging book, steeped in scientific research and tempered with common sense.” -- Daniel T. Willingham, PhD, author of Why Don't Students Like School?
“Through an artful combination of anecdote and research, Lahey delivers a lesson that moms and dads badly need to learn: that failure is vital to children’s success. Any parent who pines for a saner, more informed approach to child-rearing should read this book.” -- Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun
“Lahey has many wise and helpful words...ones that any parent can and should embrace.” -- Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B00GLS00LY
- Publisher : Harper; 1st edition (August 11, 2015)
- Publication date : August 11, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 514 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 301 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #245,554 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I read a lot of psychology and social science books because the research just plain fascinates me. While this book offers a lot of anecdotes, it's also infused with an excellent grasp of research. Lahey's background in education shines through, and her suggestions are grounded in the same evidence-based research that I've read. If kids seem different today, it's because they are, and it's not just technology that's driving this change, it's the way parents treat their children and how they view them. We want them to be successful, but in our test-driven, high achieving culture, we are sometimes guilty of emphasizing the wrong things. After reading a great deal about helpless college students, children suffering from stress-related ills, and the mental health problems plaguing universities, this book helped me form an idea as to why this may be: rather than teaching our children to work for the things they want, we're setting them on a prescribed path and sending them the message that they're only okay as long as they follow that prescribed path. Reading this book makes the mystifying question of why children don't want to take risks quite clear: because we've taught them that there's nothing worse than failure.
Yet this book doesn't just discuss research, it also offers a lot of practical solutions for parents. Fair warning, though: not all of these suggestions are easy to swallow. This is where some of the pain came in for me, because I saw myself reflected in some of the behaviors Lahey suggests parents need to break. Giving her suggestions a try isn't going to be easy from a parenting standpoint, and it will require me to retrain myself as well.
I also think there's a lot of value in how this book offers some very good insight into the educational system, which I think is a big benefit to parents who don't come from a teaching background. Lahey proposes that parents and teachers work as partners, and she offers suggestions for how parents can open up dialog with their kids' teachers. Considering how adversarial our current culture and politics paint the relationship between educators and parents, there is a great deal of value in this aspect of the book. It doesn't serve anyone for parents and teachers to be at one another's throats, not when both sides want the same thing. This book offers constructive ways parents can form that partnership with teachers, so that everyone can work together toward the same goal.
I highly recommend this book to both parents and educators.
It was not until my senior year of high school when I started to manage my understanding of failure and success properly. I am far from perfect but I am a lot more developed than I was back in high school.
Today, I am a father and unfortunately, I see anger issues manifesting in my oldest child. One moment she is gleefully coloring a beautiful drawing with a rainbow of crayons then suddenly I hear a loud wail and she is angrily crumbling up the paper and chucking it across the room.
So it apparently runs in the famil…but how do I break this pattern?
Reading The Gift of Failure is definitely a good step.
Small failures have a huge impact, and these impacts are good. I already catch myself overparenting constantly, but what am I really trying to do? Prevent a scuffed knee or a broken toy? That’s it? Is that worth it?
We all know that we learn best from failures. We don’t need to fail at everything to learn, but failure can point us in the right direction.
As my kids grow up, failure will become harder to parent, but failing to be a good parent is just not an option for me.
This book is filled with what feels like just common sense, but when you are in the midst of parenting, sometimes nothing makes sense, so a resource like this book is great.
Top reviews from other countries
If you are interested in reading a book about parenting in American fashion, then you will possibly enjoy this book, otherwise I strongly advise you look elsewhere because there are so many references to one persons experiences and points of view that is entirely limited to a small area of the US, it'll be bad advice to the rest of us.