The Gift of Failure

  • by Jessica Lahey
  • Narrated by Jessica Lahey
  • 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 for parents, educators, and psychologists nationwide who want to help children succeed.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Misguided Advice

The Gift of Failure is based on anecdotes and interviews of like-minded individuals with a narrow view of the available information.

I found the author's advice to be overly simplistic and one-dimensional. Her theories don't seem to provide for a balanced approach to teaching children discipline and self responsibility. It's kind of an all or none approach, which from my experience is ineffective.

There are a few nuggets that can be taken from this book; however, unfortunately, it is based on bad theory.

If you decide to read this book, do so with a skeptical attitude; otherwise, your children will pay the price of Ms. Lahey's misguided advice.



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- Brent D. Green

A guidepost for parents and teachers

As a parent of three children and as a second grade teacher, I found this book was speaking to me. Every word echoed my own experiences as a parent. We have begun implementing many of these ideas at home and I have seen my 13 year old take some risks she would have avoided prior. I have also out some practices into practice in my classroom and I am seeing happier kids with more persistence and resilience. This is a book I recommend to all the parents in my classroom. If I could make it required reading, I would! Thank you Jessica!
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- jennifer Miller

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-11-2015
  • Publisher: HarperAudio