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Horizon Education Alliance

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If, out of love or a desire to bolster your child’s self-esteem, you picked A or B, teacher and author Jessica Lahey thinks you’re wrong.

“Do I want [my kids] to be happy now and not-scared and not-anxious, or, a year from now, do I hope that they pushed through being a-little-anxious and a little scared and became a little more competent?” she told Quartz.

That question is at the heart of her best-selling book, The Gift of Failure. She realized not long ago that something was wrong with her parenting and something was amiss with the middle-school students she taught. They wilted in the face of challenge. They didn’t love learning like they used to. Parents took bad grades personally. Everyone was unhappy.

She couldn’t pinpoint the root of the problem until she realized: we seem to be more worried about raising happy children than competent or autonomous ones.

measured success

18% Increase in College Readiness
20% Of students have improved grades
05% Say they’ll continue the format

Lahey cites the work of Wendy Grolnick, a psychologist, who puts pairs of mothers and children in a room and videotapes them as they play. Grolnick then labels the mothers as “controlling” or “autonomy-supportive,” meaning the moms let the kids figure things out on their own. Grolnick then invites the pairs back and the children are put in a room by themselves and asked to perform a task. The results were “striking,” Grolnick says in the book. The children who had controlling mothers gave up when faced with a task they could not master. The others did not. Lahey writes:

“I am not raising my husband,” she thought. Rescuing her son would make Lahey feel like a good mom, but it would not help her son’s organizational issues. Parenting for the long term meant leaving the homework on the table and letting her son, and herself, suffer a bit.

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id libero viverra consectetur. Nullam ullamcorper finibus placerat. Maecenas pharet
ra quam una congue posuere fermentum. Sed semper lorem metus, ut molestie dolor congue quis. Morbi eget enim a tortor fringilla scelerisque. Nullam ante elit, conse quat ac pulvinar nec, consectetur ut lorem.

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id libero viverra consectetur. Nullam ullamcorper finibus placerat. Maecenas pharet
ra quam una congue posuere fermentum. Sed semper lorem metus, ut molestie dolor congue quis. Morbi eget enim a tortor fringilla scelerisque. Nullam ante elit, conse quat ac pulvinar nec, consectetur ut lorem.

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