In order to succeed in the real world, you need grit. And according to author and teacher Jessica Lahey, children aren't going to develop that grit without being allowed to fail. "Kids who are allowed to fail and face the consequences of their failures learn how to rebound, regroup, and adapt, taking the good stuff from the experience forward with them, while leaving behind the parts that don't work," the author of The Gift of Failure told Science of Us. Lahey describes parents' natural tendency to over-parent as "bailout behavior," and she credits it with undermining children's personal confidence and robbing them of their grit—two crucial ingredients for real world success.
Science agrees with Lahey. A recent study called The Grit Effect outlines how our ability to recover from adversity and develop our grit or perseverance is one of the strongest indicators of future success. "The more a child avoids a situation that may be scary, the scarier it becomes because they don't have a chance to overcome it," says Lindsay Holly, a co-author of the study. "They aren't given the chance to develop the coping skills or strategies to deal with the situation appropriately."
So the next time your child leaves his homework or soccer uniform at home, perhaps you should think twice before rushing to the rescue.
To read more about the need for failure, visit New York Magazine.
Shop The Gift of Failure below. We think it's an absolute must-read!
What do you think about this notion of letting your children fail? Would you bring forgotten homework to school? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.