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.
- Grit = ability to attend to a task and stick to long-term goals –> greatest predictor of success.
- 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.
- Intrinsic motivation happens when kids feel autonomous, competent, and connected to the people and world around them.
- 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.
- Parents should praise for effort, not inherent qualities to foster the growth mindset.
- 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.
- Communicate family participation (rather than chores) and avoid nagging or pestering.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.