Sunday Snippet: Failure and Independence
Did you know that failure can lead to greater independence in our children? Failure is and always has been a great opportunity for growth and learning, yet our current popular parenting culture seems deeply focused shielding our kids from failure at every juncture. Unfortunately, this has lead to a seemingly epidemic volume of young adults lacking resiliency and independence. Too many times their parents have come to the rescue to wipe any sense of failure out of their childhood, so when it comes time to deal with failure head on, many young adults lack the ability to manage and grow from failure experiences. For more proof, check in with any college instructor to see what they have been observing in college freshman the last few years – a clear and definitive decline in independence and resilience – skills necessary for adult success.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and the University of Minnesota have recently concluded that the parental effort of failure avoidance actually inhibits a child’s ability to effectively manage their emotions and behavior (Helicopter Parents, Let Your Kids Fail!, Child Trends, Nov. 2018). They suggest that the antidote is stepping back and offering our children more independence.
Related to the drop in the resiliency in our youth, long time Notre Dame women’s basketball coach, Muffet McGraw, reflected on her experience with college freshman over her coaching years, “I don’t know if kids have changed. It’s the parents who have changed,” (NCAA coach’s advice to parents: You need to let your kids fail, The Province, Nov. 22, 2018).
“Parents today don’t want to give their child a chance to fail. The first time there’s adversity, the kids don’t know what to do. They are not able to fight through things.” (Muffet McGraw, University of Notre Dame Women’s Basketball Coach)
The good news is that the camp experiences girls receive at WeHaKee Camp for Girls provide are the perfect antidote. Campers are able to explore independence in a supportive and nurturing environment. And when they fail – which they will do! – they receive the support and guidance necessary to learn from their failure, to examine how to adjust their behavior and choose their emotions so that they can achieve success on their terms.
Know someone who would benefit from a WeHakee experience where she can become a confident, independent and resilient young women? Encourage them to visit our website and register for the summer of their life!
Thanks for reading and have a great week!