D-E recently hosted two notable authors as part of the Parents’ Association BookTalk 2016 event. Ms. Julie Lythcott-Haims (“How to Raise An Adult…”) and Ms. Jessica Lahey, (“The Gift of Failure“) spoke to our students, our faculty and our parent body. Read More
Ms. Lahey is a former middle school teacher and connected with our youngsters with her message of taking risks and feeling comfortable enough to fail. While this sounds like a simple concept, in actuality, it can be difficult. “Should I try a new approach to writing this essay or stay with the tried-and-true?” “What if I try something new and I don’t get a good grade?” “I’ve never gone scuba-diving/hiking/fill-in-the-blank. What if I’m not very good at it?” “Will my parents be upset with me if I don’t get good grades?”
These types of questions and the accompanying emotions often run through the minds of young adolescents. The negative feelings and projections can contribute to a mindset that is averse to taking risks and averse to failure. Yet, if we want healthy, curious children, we must learn to allow 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.
If you’re looking for a good parenting book about young adolescents, I highly recommend Ms. Lahey’s book. And while you’re all having a family dinner, you may want to ask these two questions as good conversation-starters:
- How do you feel about taking risks that may involve failing or making mistakes?
- Do you believe that we (your parents) give you space to take risks or new chances with experiences, with school, with your activities?