Make sure your children experience failure

March 8, 2012 | By | Reply More

Tom Hoerr is the is head of school at the New City School in St. Louis (a school both of my daughters have attended). In an article titled, “Got Grit?” at the website of Educational Leadership, Tom reminds us that it is critically important for children to experience failure:

As important as scholastic preparation is (and it is important), it is only part of what students need to succeed in life. Howard Gardner’s personal intelligences, Daniel Goleman’s emotional intelligence, and Carol Dweck’s mindsets all reflect the fact that our attitudes are even more important than our skills . . .

As educators, part of our job is to ensure that every child finds success, and an important part of finding success is knowing how to respond to failure. As soccer star Mia Hamm said, “Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.” People who have not learned to respond well to frustration and failure are likely to choose paths without much risk or challenge and thus destine themselves to a life of predictability, safety, and mediocrity.

I’ve also been impress with the writings of Gardner, Goleman and Dweck, and I’ve commented on each of them at this site.


Category: Education, Psychology Cognition

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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