The Gift of Failure

The Gift of Failure : How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed

4.11 (3,427 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In the tradition of Paul Tough's How Children Succeed and Wendy Mogel's The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, this groundbreaking manifesto focuses 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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 157 x 234 x 30mm | 499g
  • HarperCollins
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0062299239
  • 9780062299239
  • 378,177

Back cover copy

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.
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Review quote

-Lahey has many wise and helpful words...ones that any parent can and should embrace.---Publishers Weekly
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Rating details

3,427 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 36% (1,227)
4 44% (1,500)
3 17% (582)
2 3% (90)
1 1% (28)
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