Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Gift of Failure

The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed
By Jessica Lahey
Harper, 272 pgs. Nonfiction

Jessica Lahey is both a parent and an educator. In “The Gift of Failure” she provides advice for parents using both personal and professional experiences. What her message boils down to is “Back off.”

Parents have a natural and understandable desire to help and guide their children past the difficulties of growing up. But Lahey is convinced that these instincts need to be reined in to allow kids to learn about consequences. They need to learn that success comes from hard work and taking chances. Children should never lose their desire to try new things and stretch themselves to the point that they may fail. But that failure can lead them to rising back up with confidence and without fear.

What I most appreciated in Lahey’s book were the real life examples and specific suggestions for parents to use with their children in different contexts and at different stages of a child’s development. Her conversational tone is upbeat and encouraging. She acknowledges that a change in parenting style is going to take hard work with plenty of setbacks and slip-ups. But being able to prepare your children to meet the challenges of adult life is well worth the struggle.


1 comment:

AL said...

This book helped me learn many practical skills to apply in the parenting of my children. Reading this book helped me become more mindful of the way I am parenting and how often I swoop in and fix my children's problems instead of letting them learn to deal with set backs and disappointments. I could relate to the author when she said she agonized over a piece of homework her child left at home. I know that feeling, and it is really uncomfortable. I want my children to be successful in life and sometimes that means allowing them to fail.