No parent wants their child to ever fail or fall down. But can you unwittingly hurt your child in the long run by repeatedly being too quick to intervene? As a parent, Kelly Wallace, CNN’s Digital correspondent, admits to grappling with that question. Here is some expert advice that she has found particularly helpful.
Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed, says:
“Any time you find yourself jumping in to rescue or take over a task for your kids, stop and ask yourself, ‘Can my kid learn anything from this?’ and if the answer is yes, whether that lesson is in a concrete skill or simply a moment to realize that they are more capable than they thought, restrain yourself. Hold your tongue. Lace your fingers together behind your back, and give your kids the opportunity to find out what they are able to do on their own.”
Wallace approached the same topic last January in which she quoted Norman Nathan, editor of The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality:
“We see our successes in our own children, so when we allow them to fail, that also kind of reflects on us… and so it’s uncomfortable but we need to get there because otherwise we’re going to have these helpless kids who either feel incredibly entitled, and who would want that, or helpless, they don’t know how to do things for themselves.”