Over the holidays I read a book called, The Gift of Failure: How to Step back and let your child succeed by Jessica Lahey. Ms Lahey is a parent of two sons and a teacher and at the commencement of her book she says:
“We have taught our kids to fear failure, and in doing so, we have blocked the surest and clearest path to their success. This is certainly not what we meant to do… Unfortunately, in doing so we have deprived our children of the most important lessons of childhood. The setbacks, mistakes, miscalculations and failures we have shoved out of our children’s way are the very experiences that teach them how to be resourceful, persistent, innovative and resilient citizens of the world …
“I am as guilty as the next parent; I have inadvertently extended my children’s dependence in order to feel good about my parenting. Every time I pack my child’s lunch for him or drive his forgotten homework to school I am rewarded with tangible proof of my conscientious mothering.
“Decades of studies and hundreds of pages of scientific evidence point to one conclusion that sounds crazy, but it absolutely works: 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 tests scores go up. Children of controlling and directive parents are much less able to deal with intellectual and physical challenges than peers who benefit from parents who stand back and allow their children to try, and fail, and try again…..
“It’s up to us. Parents have the power to grant this freedom to fail. Teachers have the ability to transform that failure into and education. And together? Together, we have the potential to nurture a generation of confident, competent adults.
“Let’s get started.”
The term ahead will provide many wonderful and successful moments for our Danebank girls. We celebrate this and rejoice in it.
The term ahead will also provide many challenges and moments of failure for our Danebank girls. Even more we celebrate and rejoice in the opportunities that this will provide for them to grow and develop.
Mrs Maryanne Davis, Principal