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Failure is the only option

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I met a woman in the prenatal ward where my cousin gave birth. She kept telling me stories about how her teen creeps her out for being so good. Evidently, her daughter was being too virtuous, would cook meals for the family while she worked, then spend Friday nights with a nice book and a cup of hot cocoa. Meanwhile, the mother told me she would be watching television.

She would often wonder who was the parent and who was the child among the two of them. The mom told me it all started when she stopped scolding her daughter for simple things like a bad grade on a test or forgetting to turn off the faucet in the bathroom – or neglecting to learn how to cook. She insisted that by allowing her child to fail her daughter learned to self correct. It’s a little bit like sleep training in that you can’t always be there to help them, so they must learn to do it themselves. Such discipline to stay away and not intercede can do wonders for children in the long run. “It only requires patience and a few sit-down moments to raise kids better”, she added.

According to James Lemahn in Empowering Parents, there are parents who are so afraid to see their children fail that they seek out others to help fake the success for their children. Jessica Lahey from The Atlantic also struck a point when she said that the over protectiveness of parents is a known stimulus to producing children who are not independent and will always rely on someone else to make things happen. Whenever some of her students fail, she assures their parents that those setbacks will be the best thing that ever happened to their children. But sadly, most parents wouldn’t believe her.

Failing is part of every child’s life. Overparenting never helped anyone – especially the parents. It falsifies self-esteem and sets up a whirlwind of failures ahead because your children will think you’ll be there to catch them when they fall.

So if it’s possible, let them fail. You’ll be doing both you and your child a favor that will last a lifetime.

Submitted by Soraya Danica Dimayuga

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