Learning how to take challenges in stride is an important attribute.

Frequently I receive information from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) @NAISnetwork #NAISnetwork.  The topics range from faculty/staff professional development to governance, independent school trends, finance, and instructional methodologies.  Occasionally, NAIS suggests parent resources from college admissions to sleep studies for preschoolers.  Via NAIS, I recently received an article from Psychology Today entitled, “How Allowing Children to Fail Helps Them Succeed” by Susan Newman Ph.D. 

Dr. Newman cites two books written by Jessica Lahey, a teacher and writer for The Atlantic and New York Times. Susan contacted Mrs. Lahey and asked for key points from her newest book, The Gift of Failure.  The thoughts were poignant and serve parents, educators and students well if used to guide interactions with children of all ages.  Especially now, as RWS students work more and more in small groups through Project, building methods of trial and error as new ideas are created and learning how to take challenges in stride is an important attribute.

  1. Failure helps children learn about themselves…and they will recover.
  2. Be patient and trust in your kids.
  3. Remember that when we say, “Let me do that for you,” we are telling our kids we don’t think they are capable.
  4. Let kids make mistakes that test their abilities. This is a good thing that will strengthen learning and teach them how to be resilient.
  5. Remember that intelligence is malleable. The harder kids work to overcome challenges, the smarter they become.
  6. The children of parents who support autonomy are more competent and resilient in the face of frustration, so give kids space to work through temporary setbacks.
  7. Kids who pursue their own goals are far more likely to meet those goals and stick with activities for the long haul.

As we have all experienced, parenting can be challenging at times but the happiness and love we experience is like no other.  Provide your children with opportunities to grow in decision making and resilience – it will serve them well for a lifetime.

All the best,


View All Blog Articles