“If parents back off the pressure and anxiety over grades and achievement and focus on the bigger picture—a love of learning and independent inquiry—grades will improve and test scores will go up.“
We all want what’s best for our kids.
So we roll up our sleeves and insert ourselves in their education, pitching in on homework and managing school projects. We stimulate them with an endless revolving door of activities. We do what we can to foster good grades, college application-worthy experiences and self-esteem. Along the way, we celebrate victories as if they were our own. And swoop in to protect when things go south.
The instinct is laudable: set up our children for success, by any means necessary.
But what if we have it all wrong? What if all this hyper-competitive, overly-protective micro-management is doing more harm than good?
As a parent of young girls, I desperately want to do everything I can to serve their long-term interests. To learn more, I sat down with educator, writer and speaker Jessica Lahey (@jesslahey). A graduate of the University of Massachusetts with a J.D. concentrating on juvenile and education law from the University of North Carolina School of Law, Jessica is an an English and writing teacher, correspondent for the Atlantic, commentator for Vermont Public Radio, and writes the “Parent-Teacher Conference” column for the New York Times.
She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed (highly recommend for parents) and if that’s not enough, she also explores writing and creativity on #AmWriting, a podcast she co-hosts with KJ Dell’Antonia, a columnist and contributing editor for the New York Times’ Well Family.
Specific topics discussed include:
- the critical difference between grades and learning
- differentiating between confidence vs. competence
- the perils of “fixed mindsets”
- the nature of what motivates true learning
- the negative implications of over-parenting, rescuing, enmeshment & hovering; and
- effective strategies to cultivate your child’s long-term interests
- ultimately its about how to best parent your child to maximize their learning and set them up for long term success.
If you are a parent, this episode is a must listen. If you don’t have kids, you will nonetheless find Jessica’s powerful insights on the psychology of motivation and the mechanisms that promote learning absolutely invaluable and applicable to each and every one of us.
I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.
Peace + Plants,
Join us for our next retreat in Italy, May 20-27 — for info visit: plantpowerworld.com
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Check out Jessica’s New York Times Bestseller: The Gift of Failure: How The Best Parents Learn To Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed*
Background, Context & Reference
- Connect With Jessica: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
- Jessica’s Podcast with KJ Dell’Antonia: #AmWriting
- Book: The Gift of Failure: How The Best Parents Learn To Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed*
- NYTimes: Articles By Jessica Lahey
- The Atlantic: Articles By Jessica Lahey
- NYTimes Sunday Book Review: ‘The Gift of Failure,’ by Jessica Lahey by Julie Lythcott-Haims
- Telegraph UK: Jessica Lahey: Overprotective parents have undermined the competence of an entire generation by Celia Walden
- Film: Most Likely To Succed (Based on the book by )
- American RadioWorks: Ready To Work: Revivng Vocational Ed
- School: The Momentous Institute: A residential, therapeutic program for boys and girls who are experiencing behavioral difficulties
- Article: Students Who Lose Recess Are the Ones Who Need It Most by Jessica Lahey
- Video: Learning Styles Don’t Exist by Daniel Willingham, Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia
- Article: Parenting, Not for the Moment, but for the Long Haul by Jessica Lahey
- Article: Teenagers, Dealing With Addiction, on What Might Have Helped by Jessica Lahey
- The Child Witness to Violence Project: (CWVP) is a therapeutic, advocacy, and outreach project
- Book: Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning* by Peter C. Brown,
- Book: Homesick & Happy – How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow* by Michael Thompson, PhD
- Book: Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era* by
- Book: Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined* by Scott Barry Kaufman
- Book: The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money* by Ron Lieber
- Book: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction* by Gabor Mate, M.D.
Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast
- Carol Dweck: Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, Author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success*
- Edward Deci: Professor of Psychology, Author of Why We Do What We Do: Understanding Self-Motivation*
- Julie Lythcott-Haims: Academic. Author of: How To Raise An Adult*
- Mark Barnes: Author of: Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School (Hack Learning Series) (Volume 1)*
- Albert Bandura: David Starr Jordan Professor of Social Science in Psychology / Emeritus at Stanford University.
- Manjula Martin: Author of Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living*
- Dan Pink: author of five best-selling books about work, management, and behavioral science
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy
- RRP #188: Addiction Is Not A Choice: Dr. Gabor Maté’s Call For A Compassionate & Holistic Approach To Healing
- RRP #203: Rethinking Education With Suzy Amis Cameron
- RRP #281: Adam Braun On Lightning Moments, Reimagining Education & Blazing A Life Of Purpose
*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to our Amazon affiliate code. Any purchase will not cost you a cent extra but will support the show by shaking loose a little Amazon affiliate change in our direction, which is a great, free way to support the show.
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