Is it OK to let your child fail?

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I recently read this article on Facebook. It is written by Kelly Wallace, a CNN digital correspondent and editor-at-large covering family, career and life.

I wondered what parents thought of her article. She had some really good points about why parents should not always come to their children’s rescue. For instance, she quoted another columnist who said, “Every single time we turn around and say, ‘I’ll just do that for you’ or ‘Here let me help you with that,’ we are saying to them, ‘I don’t think you can do that for yourself,’ ” said Lahey, who is also a columnist for The New York Times and a contributor to The Atlantic and Vermont Public Radio.

I found that very interesting. As a teacher, I know the importance of letting kids do things for themselves. It gives them greater confidence and allows them to learn through mistakes. However, I had never reflected on the fact that doing something for a student would be saying, “I don’t think you can do it yourself.”

Lahey also said, “Giving kids the opportunity to problem solve when something goes wrong, there’s nothing better than that and when we take that away from them, it’s a real tragedy.”

Again, in my career as an educator, I encourage problem solving throughout the day. I want my students to grow up to be thinkers. If I do things for them, then I am taking away their learning opportunity.

The article made several other really good points and had some parent perspectives. It’s definitely worth reading.



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