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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

You need to let your child fail!

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That's right. I've been saying it for years. Here's an article that sums up why rescuing your child from all of life's unpleasantries does so much damage in the long run. 

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/01/why-parents-need-to-let-their-children-fail/272603/#.UQnZFr63by8.facebook

Why Parents Need to Let Their Children Fail

A new study explores what happens to students who aren't allowed to suffer through setbacks.

fail2-top.jpgMatthew Benoit/Shutterstock

Thirteen years ago, when I was a relatively new teacher, stumbling around my classroom on wobbly legs, I had to call a students' mother to inform her that I would be initiating disciplinary proceedings against her daughter for plagiarism, and that furthermore, her daughter would receive a zero for the plagiarized paper.

"You can't do that. She didn't do anything wrong," the mother informed me, enraged.

"But she did. I was able to find entire paragraphs lifted off of web sites," I stammered.

"No, I mean she didn't do it. I did. I wrote her paper."

I don't remember what I said in response, but I'm fairly confident I had to take a moment to digest what I had just heard. And what would I do, anyway? Suspend the mother? Keep her in for lunch detention and make her write "I will not write my daughter's papers using articles plagiarized from the Internet" one hundred times on the board? In all fairness, the mother submitted a defense: her daughter had been stressed out, and she did not want her to get sick or overwhelmed.

In the end, my student received a zero and I made sure she re-wrote the paper. Herself. Sure, I didn't have the authority to discipline the student's mother, but I have done so many times in my dreams.

While I am not sure what the mother gained from the experience, the daughter gained an understanding of consequences, and I gained a war story. I don't even bother with the old reliables anymore: the mother who "helps" a bit too much with the child's math homework, the father who builds the student's science project. Please. Don't waste my time.

The stories teachers exchange these days reveal a whole new level of overprotectiveness: parents who raise their children in a state of helplessness and powerlessness, children destined to an anxious adulthood, lacking the emotional resources they will need to cope with inevitable setback and failure.

I believed my accumulated compendium of teacher war stories were pretty good -- until I read a study out of Queensland University of Technology, by Judith Locke, et. al., a self-described "examination by parenting professionals of the concept of overparenting."

Overparenting is characterized in the study as parents' "misguided attempt to improve their child's current and future personal and academic success." In an attempt to understand such behaviors, the authors surveyed psychologists, guidance counselors, and teachers. The authors asked these professionals if they had witnessed examples of overparenting, and left space for descriptions of said examples. While the relatively small sample size and questionable method of subjective self-reporting cast a shadow on the study's statistical significance, the examples cited in the report provide enough ammunition for a year of dinner parties.

Some of the examples are the usual fare: a child isn't allowed to go to camp or learn to drive, a parent cuts up a 10 year-old's food or brings separate plates to parties for a 16 year-old because he's a picky eater. Yawn. These barely rank a "Tsk, tsk" among my colleagues. And while I pity those kids, I'm not that worried. They will go out on their own someday and recover from their overprotective childhoods.

What worry me most are the examples of overparenting that have the potential to ruin a child's confidence and undermine an education in independence. According to the the authors, parents guilty of this kind of overparenting "take their child's perception as truth, regardless of the facts," and are "quick to believe their child over the adult and deny the possibility that their child was at fault or would even do something of that nature."

This is what we teachers see most often: what the authors term "high responsiveness and low demandingness" parents." These parents are highly responsive to the perceived needs and issues of their children, and don't give their children the chance to solve their own problems. These parents "rush to school at the whim of a phone call from their child to deliver items such as forgotten lunches, forgotten assignments, forgotten uniforms" and "demand better grades on the final semester reports or threaten withdrawal from school." One study participant described the problem this way:

I have worked with quite a number of parents who are so overprotective of their children that the children do not learn to take responsibility (and the natural consequences) of their actions. The children may develop a sense of entitlement and the parents then find it difficult to work with the school in a trusting, cooperative and solution focused manner, which would benefit both child and school.

These are the parents who worry me the most -- parents who won't let their child learn. You see, teachers don't just teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. We teach responsibility, organization, manners, restraint, and foresight. These skills may not get assessed on standardized testing, but as children plot their journey into adulthood, they are, by far, the most important life skills I teach.

I'm not suggesting that parents place blind trust in their children's teachers; I would never do such a thing myself. But children make mistakes, and when they do, it's vital that parents remember that the educational benefits of consequences are a gift, not a dereliction of duty. Year after year, my "best" students -- the ones who are happiest and successful in their lives -- are the students who were allowed to fail, held responsible for missteps, and challenged to be the best people they could be in the face of their mistakes.

I'm done fantasizing about ways to make that mom from 13 years ago see the light. That ship has sailed, and I did the best I could for her daughter. Every year, I reassure some parent, "This setback will be the best thing that ever happened to your child," and I've long since accepted that most parents won't believe me. That's fine. I'm patient. The lessons I teach in middle school don't typically pay off for years, and I don't expect thank-you cards.

I have learned to enjoy and find satisfaction in these day-to-day lessons, and in the time I get to spend with children in need of an education. But I fantasize about the day I will be trusted to teach my students how to roll with the punches, find their way through the gauntlet of adolescence, and stand firm in the face of the challenges -- challenges that have the power to transform today's children into resourceful, competent, and confident adults.


by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 9:02 PM
Replies (81-88):
mjande4
by Platinum Member on Feb. 3, 2013 at 10:08 PM
1 mom liked this

Oh my goodness! PLEASE seek counseling!

Quoting Morrigan333:

 So you're saying it has NOTHING to do with the fact that some 2nd gr bitch had a cow when my dd played with that girl's friends when THAT girl went to Disney for a week? Because her life was hell AFER that event..not really before..because dd was finishing her 3rd gr year in another county that spring,dd didn't spend much time with the kids here then..she was busy doing homework which took her 2 hours. She morethan likely would have spent some time with some of the kids around here IF THAT event hadn't happend. THAT GIRL had a fullblown hissy fit in the yard of the girl dd was playing with. I heard the liitle brat say to dd "they're MY friends, not yours, go the hell away". I went to get dd and ever since that day..it's been the neighborhood against us. My dd doesn't even want to go outside anymore because everytime  she goes somewhere..the brats try to follow. So then I FOLOWTHEM tomake sure dd is OK.  Then the bru-ha ha starts because the parents ofthese brats think I've done somrthing to their children..I've never touched these brats, never threathened them(though the kids had told their parents I did). These kids have been in a quartet while I watched them hatching a plan to "do something" to my dd. When they got somewhat closerto my dd I moved closer to my daughter and the girls went back to where they were before they went to hatch their  little plan. By the way..they were basically getting the 5 yr old to dothis..no other parents were at the playground. NO supervision for a 5, two 7 yr olds, and 1one 9 yr old. NONE.

 I watch my kid when she's at play.. I do MY responsibility. Where the hell were these parents..inside doing "their things" NOT watching their spiteful little brats.

Quoting mjande4:

I have no doubt that your daughter needs SOME services, however, without actually seeing your daughter "in action" it is impossible for me to say which ones. As I said earlier, YOUR anger/hostility is clearly interfering with your daughter's opportunities. I know no matter how many times several of us tell you this, that you will deny it, but the situation will NEVER improve for your daughter until you recognize that YOU are a big part of her problem socially.

Quoting Morrigan333:


So when the school says that my child DOES NOT need Occupational therapy in school, but then in the IEP meeting  says that she can stack chairs on the desks(end of the day chore), pass out heavy textbooks in the classroom, and erase the whiteboards, THAT'S OKAY? It's OT..they admit it would "help" her, but they aren't willing to actually add it in the IEP. What does that say..they don't want to be PAYING for it!   They're using Fed money, but won't give any real services to dd.

Quoting mjande4:

This and when you consistently fly off of the handle over EVERY little thing, then you lose ALL credibility with the school, the neighborhood, and anyone that you come in contact with on a regular basis.  EVERYONE has things to overcome, it's how you approach those obstacles that will define the person you are.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:


Quoting Morrigan333:

Also to all you other posters, the teacher in my dd's math class says she's ONE of the BEST students in the class..DD has a D in this class. WTF does that say about this teacher? That she isn't effective enough at her job, 5 months in the school year and the kids are still getting D's, E's, F's? OMFG!

For one thig it proves your DD isn't being target or mistreated any more than any other kid. She has a bad teacher. I don't think any child goes through an entire education without a few bad teachers. 

No one is saying your daughter doesn't have some tough things to deal with. What we are trying to get you to understand is that all kids have things to deal with. Your child isn't victimized or mistreated more than anyone else. Life isn't fair for anyone











sakpoints
by Bronze Member on Feb. 3, 2013 at 10:52 PM

 I totally agree.  DD is in second grade and has had a few struggles with skipping questions on class work.  We review the sheets when she comes home. I review homework but have never completed for her.  She knows when she gets home she must do her 'job' which is unpack her back pack and lunch bag and bring me her folder to review papers and start her homework.

Morrigan333
by on Feb. 3, 2013 at 11:24 PM

 Seek counseling? what for? the neighborhood brats trying to bully my kid every chance they get? Just last week (the same four) were on the one girl's porch pointing and laughing at us as we came home from the store...I't a little hard to miss: "OMG..look at them..hahahahahahahhaahaha". That'sthe kind of crap my dd gets in school nearly every day by at least ONE of these little neighborhood shits!

Quoting mjande4:

Oh my goodness! PLEASE seek counseling!

Quoting Morrigan333:

 So you're saying it has NOTHING to do with the fact that some 2nd gr bitch had a cow when my dd played with that girl's friends when THAT girl went to Disney for a week? Because her life was hell AFER that event..not really before..because dd was finishing her 3rd gr year in another county that spring,dd didn't spend much time with the kids here then..she was busy doing homework which took her 2 hours. She morethan likely would have spent some time with some of the kids around here IF THAT event hadn't happend. THAT GIRL had a fullblown hissy fit in the yard of the girl dd was playing with. I heard the liitle brat say to dd "they're MY friends, not yours, go the hell away". I went to get dd and ever since that day..it's been the neighborhood against us. My dd doesn't even want to go outside anymore because everytime  she goes somewhere..the brats try to follow. So then I FOLOWTHEM tomake sure dd is OK.  Then the bru-ha ha starts because the parents ofthese brats think I've done somrthing to their children..I've never touched these brats, never threathened them(though the kids had told their parents I did). These kids have been in a quartet while I watched them hatching a plan to "do something" to my dd. When they got somewhat closerto my dd I moved closer to my daughter and the girls went back to where they were before they went to hatch their  little plan. By the way..they were basically getting the 5 yr old to dothis..no other parents were at the playground. NO supervision for a 5, two 7 yr olds, and 1one 9 yr old. NONE.

 I watch my kid when she's at play.. I do MY responsibility. Where the hell were these parents..inside doing "their things" NOT watching their spiteful little brats.

Quoting mjande4:

I have no doubt that your daughter needs SOME services, however, without actually seeing your daughter "in action" it is impossible for me to say which ones. As I said earlier, YOUR anger/hostility is clearly interfering with your daughter's opportunities. I know no matter how many times several of us tell you this, that you will deny it, but the situation will NEVER improve for your daughter until you recognize that YOU are a big part of her problem socially.

Quoting Morrigan333:

 

So when the school says that my child DOES NOT need Occupational therapy in school, but then in the IEP meeting  says that she can stack chairs on the desks(end of the day chore), pass out heavy textbooks in the classroom, and erase the whiteboards, THAT'S OKAY? It's OT..they admit it would "help" her, but they aren't willing to actually add it in the IEP. What does that say..they don't want to be PAYING for it!   They're using Fed money, but won't give any real services to dd.

Quoting mjande4:

This and when you consistently fly off of the handle over EVERY little thing, then you lose ALL credibility with the school, the neighborhood, and anyone that you come in contact with on a regular basis.  EVERYONE has things to overcome, it's how you approach those obstacles that will define the person you are.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:


Quoting Morrigan333:

Also to all you other posters, the teacher in my dd's math class says she's ONE of the BEST students in the class..DD has a D in this class. WTF does that say about this teacher? That she isn't effective enough at her job, 5 months in the school year and the kids are still getting D's, E's, F's? OMFG!

For one thig it proves your DD isn't being target or mistreated any more than any other kid. She has a bad teacher. I don't think any child goes through an entire education without a few bad teachers. 

No one is saying your daughter doesn't have some tough things to deal with. What we are trying to get you to understand is that all kids have things to deal with. Your child isn't victimized or mistreated more than anyone else. Life isn't fair for anyone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

workoutmom2b1g
by on Feb. 3, 2013 at 11:27 PM

Yea, go figure. We don't all need trophies...

mjande4
by Platinum Member on Feb. 4, 2013 at 8:58 AM
1 mom liked this

Oy vey!  If you can't connect the dots, then it's never going to improve.  YOU are acting like a deranged child, hence the kids treat you like one.


Quoting Morrigan333:

 Seek counseling? what for? the neighborhood brats trying to bully my kid every chance they get? Just last week (the same four) were on the one girl's porch pointing and laughing at us as we came home from the store...I't a little hard to miss: "OMG..look at them..hahahahahahahhaahaha". That'sthe kind of crap my dd gets in school nearly every day by at least ONE of these little neighborhood shits!

Quoting mjande4:

Oh my goodness! PLEASE seek counseling!

Quoting Morrigan333:

 So you're saying it has NOTHING to do with the fact that some 2nd gr bitch had a cow when my dd played with that girl's friends when THAT girl went to Disney for a week? Because her life was hell AFER that event..not really before..because dd was finishing her 3rd gr year in another county that spring,dd didn't spend much time with the kids here then..she was busy doing homework which took her 2 hours. She morethan likely would have spent some time with some of the kids around here IF THAT event hadn't happend. THAT GIRL had a fullblown hissy fit in the yard of the girl dd was playing with. I heard the liitle brat say to dd "they're MY friends, not yours, go the hell away". I went to get dd and ever since that day..it's been the neighborhood against us. My dd doesn't even want to go outside anymore because everytime  she goes somewhere..the brats try to follow. So then I FOLOWTHEM tomake sure dd is OK.  Then the bru-ha ha starts because the parents ofthese brats think I've done somrthing to their children..I've never touched these brats, never threathened them(though the kids had told their parents I did). These kids have been in a quartet while I watched them hatching a plan to "do something" to my dd. When they got somewhat closerto my dd I moved closer to my daughter and the girls went back to where they were before they went to hatch their  little plan. By the way..they were basically getting the 5 yr old to dothis..no other parents were at the playground. NO supervision for a 5, two 7 yr olds, and 1one 9 yr old. NONE.

 I watch my kid when she's at play.. I do MY responsibility. Where the hell were these parents..inside doing "their things" NOT watching their spiteful little brats.

Quoting mjande4:

I have no doubt that your daughter needs SOME services, however, without actually seeing your daughter "in action" it is impossible for me to say which ones. As I said earlier, YOUR anger/hostility is clearly interfering with your daughter's opportunities. I know no matter how many times several of us tell you this, that you will deny it, but the situation will NEVER improve for your daughter until you recognize that YOU are a big part of her problem socially.

Quoting Morrigan333:


So when the school says that my child DOES NOT need Occupational therapy in school, but then in the IEP meeting  says that she can stack chairs on the desks(end of the day chore), pass out heavy textbooks in the classroom, and erase the whiteboards, THAT'S OKAY? It's OT..they admit it would "help" her, but they aren't willing to actually add it in the IEP. What does that say..they don't want to be PAYING for it!   They're using Fed money, but won't give any real services to dd.

Quoting mjande4:

This and when you consistently fly off of the handle over EVERY little thing, then you lose ALL credibility with the school, the neighborhood, and anyone that you come in contact with on a regular basis.  EVERYONE has things to overcome, it's how you approach those obstacles that will define the person you are.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:


Quoting Morrigan333:

Also to all you other posters, the teacher in my dd's math class says she's ONE of the BEST students in the class..DD has a D in this class. WTF does that say about this teacher? That she isn't effective enough at her job, 5 months in the school year and the kids are still getting D's, E's, F's? OMFG!

For one thig it proves your DD isn't being target or mistreated any more than any other kid. She has a bad teacher. I don't think any child goes through an entire education without a few bad teachers. 

No one is saying your daughter doesn't have some tough things to deal with. What we are trying to get you to understand is that all kids have things to deal with. Your child isn't victimized or mistreated more than anyone else. Life isn't fair for anyone















Morrigan333
by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:04 AM

 Hey Mjande...do you want actual video of these little shits and what they do?  I could probably get it on videotape for ya if ya like..then you'll be able to see with your own eyes and ears what goes on in A-town.

 I think if these kids parents were actually PARENTING THEIR kids...their kids wouldn't walk past the kid who is a little "different" than them and call out: "there goes the crazy girl".  So ADHD means she's crazy? Yeah, they MAY know that dd has ADHD(not sure if they know), they know she's different but they don't know what it is. They don't know about the SPD at all. shit..if they did...they'd REALLY have a field day on her.

 Oh yeah, I forgot..I also have Facebook conversations from some of these messed up parents making comments about it looks like a drive-by shooting is in order (this was from 2009), and more recent shit where they say they'd like to Fuck me up. Now, I've never harmed these people, never threatned them at all. I've been the bigger person and just let em say what they want to me..but I will not continue to let them fuck up my daughter.  They'd be doing the same stuff if It was their daughter.In fact this past spring..the main bully girl(the one that had the full on meltdown hissy fit) hermom, got kicked out of a E school performance because she threatned some other lady to sit where she was supposed to and shut up. Mama bear's daughter was about to play the violin in the band. mama bear wanted to enjoy the performance. I understand..I wouldtoo. But i wouldn't threaten some other person..I'd just give them a look that would say "shhhh, ora look that says..Um..really?.

 not Barbara..she threatens.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:

That's right. I've been saying it for years. Here's an article that sums up why rescuing your child from all of life's unpleasantries does so much damage in the long run. 

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/01/why-parents-need-to-let-their-children-fail/272603/#.UQnZFr63by8.facebook

Why Parents Need to Let Their Children Fail

 

A new study explores what happens to students who aren't allowed to suffer through setbacks.

fail2-top.jpgMatthew Benoit/Shutterstock

Thirteen years ago, when I was a relatively new teacher, stumbling around my classroom on wobbly legs, I had to call a students' mother to inform her that I would be initiating disciplinary proceedings against her daughter for plagiarism, and that furthermore, her daughter would receive a zero for the plagiarized paper.

"You can't do that. She didn't do anything wrong," the mother informed me, enraged.

"But she did. I was able to find entire paragraphs lifted off of web sites," I stammered.

"No, I mean she didn't do it. I did. I wrote her paper."

I don't remember what I said in response, but I'm fairly confident I had to take a moment to digest what I had just heard. And what would I do, anyway? Suspend the mother? Keep her in for lunch detention and make her write "I will not write my daughter's papers using articles plagiarized from the Internet" one hundred times on the board? In all fairness, the mother submitted a defense: her daughter had been stressed out, and she did not want her to get sick or overwhelmed.

In the end, my student received a zero and I made sure she re-wrote the paper. Herself. Sure, I didn't have the authority to discipline the student's mother, but I have done so many times in my dreams.

While I am not sure what the mother gained from the experience, the daughter gained an understanding of consequences, and I gained a war story. I don't even bother with the old reliables anymore: the mother who "helps" a bit too much with the child's math homework, the father who builds the student's science project. Please. Don't waste my time.

The stories teachers exchange these days reveal a whole new level of overprotectiveness: parents who raise their children in a state of helplessness and powerlessness, children destined to an anxious adulthood, lacking the emotional resources they will need to cope with inevitable setback and failure.

I believed my accumulated compendium of teacher war stories were pretty good -- until I read a study out of Queensland University of Technology, by Judith Locke, et. al., a self-described "examination by parenting professionals of the concept of overparenting."

Overparenting is characterized in the study as parents' "misguided attempt to improve their child's current and future personal and academic success." In an attempt to understand such behaviors, the authors surveyed psychologists, guidance counselors, and teachers. The authors asked these professionals if they had witnessed examples of overparenting, and left space for descriptions of said examples. While the relatively small sample size and questionable method of subjective self-reporting cast a shadow on the study's statistical significance, the examples cited in the report provide enough ammunition for a year of dinner parties.

Some of the examples are the usual fare: a child isn't allowed to go to camp or learn to drive, a parent cuts up a 10 year-old's food or brings separate plates to parties for a 16 year-old because he's a picky eater. Yawn. These barely rank a "Tsk, tsk" among my colleagues. And while I pity those kids, I'm not that worried. They will go out on their own someday and recover from their overprotective childhoods.

What worry me most are the examples of overparenting that have the potential to ruin a child's confidence and undermine an education in independence. According to the the authors, parents guilty of this kind of overparenting "take their child's perception as truth, regardless of the facts," and are "quick to believe their child over the adult and deny the possibility that their child was at fault or would even do something of that nature."

This is what we teachers see most often: what the authors term "high responsiveness and low demandingness" parents." These parents are highly responsive to the perceived needs and issues of their children, and don't give their children the chance to solve their own problems. These parents "rush to school at the whim of a phone call from their child to deliver items such as forgotten lunches, forgotten assignments, forgotten uniforms" and "demand better grades on the final semester reports or threaten withdrawal from school." One study participant described the problem this way:

I have worked with quite a number of parents who are so overprotective of their children that the children do not learn to take responsibility (and the natural consequences) of their actions. The children may develop a sense of entitlement and the parents then find it difficult to work with the school in a trusting, cooperative and solution focused manner, which would benefit both child and school.

These are the parents who worry me the most -- parents who won't let their child learn. You see, teachers don't just teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. We teach responsibility, organization, manners, restraint, and foresight. These skills may not get assessed on standardized testing, but as children plot their journey into adulthood, they are, by far, the most important life skills I teach.

I'm not suggesting that parents place blind trust in their children's teachers; I would never do such a thing myself. But children make mistakes, and when they do, it's vital that parents remember that the educational benefits of consequences are a gift, not a dereliction of duty. Year after year, my "best" students -- the ones who are happiest and successful in their lives -- are the students who were allowed to fail, held responsible for missteps, and challenged to be the best people they could be in the face of their mistakes.

I'm done fantasizing about ways to make that mom from 13 years ago see the light. That ship has sailed, and I did the best I could for her daughter. Every year, I reassure some parent, "This setback will be the best thing that ever happened to your child," and I've long since accepted that most parents won't believe me. That's fine. I'm patient. The lessons I teach in middle school don't typically pay off for years, and I don't expect thank-you cards.

I have learned to enjoy and find satisfaction in these day-to-day lessons, and in the time I get to spend with children in need of an education. But I fantasize about the day I will be trusted to teach my students how to roll with the punches, find their way through the gauntlet of adolescence, and stand firm in the face of the challenges -- challenges that have the power to transform today's children into resourceful, competent, and confident adults.


 

 

Mom2jngnc
by Stephannie on Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:17 AM

I agree 100%. 
 

BellaByrdie
by Member on Feb. 4, 2013 at 1:05 PM
One of my nephews is the victim of this. And now as an adult he is flailing. My daughter has ADD and I have to take extra time with her. I do not however tell her the answer. Instead I try to guide her figure it out herself. It does neither of us any good if I tell her the answer she won't learn and I will be back the next day with the same problem. Math is her most difficult subject. When she misses something or doesnt understand something I have learned to write out a similar problem show her how to work it with HER telling me what to do. then get her to rework what she missed.

My mantra has become. Do your homework yourself. Let me check it. Then if necessary we tackle whatever the trouble with the problem was.

If they fail a test we go back through all they miss and have them tell me what they did wrong in and what the correct answer should be. When they have problems I do contact the teacher. But instead of why did you fail my child I say what do see going on in class. What can I do to help her. The only thing I have ever said about a teacher was if you have a problem tell your teacher she is there to help you learn. Then me and her can help you get it to click.

I stick with what my dad said. I can't keep you from falling but I will catch you when you do.
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