Tag Archives: self-help

The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go so their Children can Succeed by Jessica Lahey ~ Book Review

Pages:  243

Publication Date:  August  5, 2014

Format:  Softcover book





“Children whose parents don’t allow them to fail are less engaged, less enthusiastic about their education, less motivated and ultimately less successful than children whose parents support their autonomy.”

The bottom line of this book written by parent and educator, Jessica Lahey, is don’t bail your children out.  They need to learn from their mistakes.  They need to learn how to organize themselves, regulate themselves and deal with mishaps in the world they live in now so that they can become high functioning adults.  Jessica Lahey, being an educator talks at length about maintaining good relationships with teachers.  She incorporates much history of parenting and various theories and research from many other sources.  Anyone reading this will come come away with their own take-away points depending on their children’s ages, family dynamics and unique family stressors.  Below I am outlining ten take-away points that I felt were important as regards my own family and parenting philosophy.

  1.  Grit = ability to attend to a task and stick to long-term goals –> greatest predictor of success.
  2. If parents back off pressure and anxiety over grades and achievement & focus on the bigger picture –> grades will improve and test scores will go up.
  3. Intrinsic motivation happens when kids feel autonomous, competent, and connected to the people and world around them.
  4.  People can be divided into 2 mindsets:  fixed & growth.  A fixed mindset believes that intelligence, talent and ability are innate and remain the same through life, no matter what one does.  A person with a growth mindset believes that these qualities are simply a starting point, and that more is always possible through effort and personal development.  These people thrive on challenge and understand that failure and trying again is part of becoming smarter, better or faster.
  5. Parents should praise for effort, not inherent qualities to foster the growth mindset.
  6. The more independent you allow your children to be the more independent they will become.  However, children also need rules, behavioral guidelines and structure.  Limits make kids feel safe and cared for.
  7. Communicate family participation (rather than chores) and avoid nagging or pestering.
  8. Free play is undervalued in our children’s social and emotional growth.  Peer play is significantly more predictive of academic success than standardized achievement tests, by 40%.  Avoid intervening in conflict resolution between children’s friends and siblings.
  9. As kids get older, we need to trust them more, and when they live up to our trust, catch them doing things right and praise them.  Keep an eye out for good judgement, character and resilience, and let them know that’s what you value above all else.
  10. Practical guidelines can help your child manage transitions: create predictability in the household, keep a family calendar, kids should keep their own schedule as soon as they are able, a regular sleep schedule and model calm.



Let it Out: A Journey Through Journaling by Katie Dalebout ~ Book Review



Pages: 288

Expected Publication: April 5, 2016

Format:  E-book from netgalley



This self-help book written by 22 year old blogger & yoga instructor, Katie Dalebout did not strike me as original or provide as much insight as I would have hoped.  The first 20% of the book is about the author and how she won a contest with her book idea that she flippantly submitted after attending a conference made up of several of her favorite self-help authors.  Then, it goes into tips about journaling to improve your life, organization, outlook, body image.  It emphasizes forgiveness, gratitude and creativity all of which I think are great.  My problem with this book was that it was the perspective of a 22 year old and the advice seemed geared towards young women in their late teens or 20s.  One tip I will likely use going forward is to awaken 10 minutes earlier in the morning to take time to visualize the day and perhaps set an intention.   I feel like I do try to do this already, but it’s easily forgotten.  2star

Thank you to netgalley and Hay House Publishing for an ARC of this book, it just wasn’t for me!  Perhaps for a younger reader, looking for self-discovery and/or working through issues such as break-ups and body image, it might provide some helpful tools and insights.

Katie Dalebout’s blog