Review: The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed

By | April 19, 2018

The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed
The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, the underlying message that our kids can and should do a lot more than we afford them is commendable. And the author clearly did her homework, citing study after study by renowned psychologists. However, while the book started off on a bright note, it went downhill from there. Yes, Lahey highlights many scientific research as “case studies”, but some of them are irrelevant to the topic of the book or, at best, have a tenuous link.

The second half of the book is where Lahey’s self-interest as a teacher got the better of her. The missive on Parent-Teacher Partnerships, for instance, is not particularly helpful. There is just so much teacher angst on display. It’s like the author had all these pent-up emotions writing the front part of the book as a parent that she can’t help coming across as angry and condescending when she lectures parents on how to forge (ironically) better relationships with the school and teachers. The tone is way too off-putting.

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