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When We Fail to Learn

What if one of the best responses we can have in raising our kids to maturity is to let them fail? To let them face what they fear (perhaps even requiring them to do so)? What if, in all of the resourcing, all of the best intentions, all of the assurances that we’ve got it handled for them, we are not only restricting their growth but perhaps even aligning ourselves with the voices in their heads that tell them they are not capable of handling whatever comes next?

Don’t get me wrong. I could line a bookcase with my own parenting failures. This past weekend when my daughter, who is now a freshman in college, and I had a chance to catch up during her fall break, we talked about some of those places when I should have stepped in more. Afraid of becoming the helicopter parent whom I had often encountered on the other side of the desk, I watched and waited, intervening only when I felt it was absolutely necessary. But there are days I would redo, especially during her 5th grade and m…

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