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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
mymatrix
01:44 PM on 02/26/2013
Here is a perfect failure for a 5th grader to experience: not having their big presentation ready. Parents don't need to blame or say, "told you so", because then she can't own her failure. This is a perfect time NOT to rescue. Don't call the school and give them an absence. Don't stay up late doing the project for them. Be sympathetic. The mistakes she's going to make in college or at 25, away from home, are much more dangerous. Any bad experience, that isn't crushing or forever damaging, can be a godsend for the later trials to come. Now, if your kid is failing all the time, that is crushing, and you have to do something else.
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mymatrix
01:36 PM on 02/26/2013
I get this completely. I raised mine without reward or praise (they are cut from the same cloth). But, I thought my job was, initially, to make their lives as pain-free as possible, then came to realize that they will make mistakes all their lives, and when they are still safe at home, to let them have the outcomes of their choices and to feel the pain. They get to own their choices and learn from them. A failing grade in 7th grade and no one showing up for your 10th birthday can be positive in the long haul. And you don't need to go out of your way to create hardships for them, or to be hard about it. You love them, support them, and let them figure it out, and talk to you about choices.
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Montcalms Revenge
Plaines d' Abraham
12:18 PM on 02/26/2013
Adversity does build character\resolve. Coddling a child\helping them avoid failure by constantly doing things for them only hurts them in the long run. At my job I'm often called on to help train\guide new hires. I find that the older ones(30+) tend to deal with adversity much better than their younger counterparts. Many(but not ALL--I must stress that) 20-somethings fresh out of college\grad school show an alarming tendency to "just give up" when faced with a difficult challenge(or expect someone else to solve it for them). Also they seem to need constant positive reinforcement(the proverbial "pat on the back") when they perform menial\everyday tasks(things they're SUPPOSED to do). Failure is a part of life, we all make mistakes: the key point is that you learn from your mistakes. If you never let your child fail(even at the most trivial things) then they're never going to learn.
11:16 AM on 02/26/2013
An A- is hardly "failing." The author needs to have realistic standards for what counts as success and failure for her daughter to emulate. If everything besides an A is categorized as a "failure" her daughter will rarely, if ever, feel as though she has succeeded at anything.
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Pondering panda
12:25 PM on 02/26/2013
I then you misunderstood. She was trying to say as a kid he thought a A- was failure and the end f her academic world, but now as an adult she says the error in her judgment an therefore plans to push her kids boundaries.
04:52 PM on 02/26/2013
I guess I got the sense that she continues to have unrealistic expectations of herself because she talks at length about how, even as an adult, anything but perfection in her career is a problem, etc. and being afraid of imposing similar unrealistic expectations on her daughter. But, yes, you may be right, maybe I misunderstood. 
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MarcEdward
likes all cats more than most people
09:24 AM on 02/26/2013
In short, you want to parent like a dad. Good work! Oh, and that profile pic is very cute! 
11:18 AM on 02/26/2013
What does that mean, "parent like a dad"?
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
MarcEdward
likes all cats more than most people
05:20 PM on 02/26/2013
As a father I've noticed about one billion times the differences between how men parent and how women parent. The author's POV reflects more closely how men parent, but that's only based on what I've observed, not objective studies. 
11:21 AM on 02/26/2013
Really?

The author here is a woman, teaching a lesson to her daughter, that she, herself, leanred from her mother, and yet you think it's masculine merit?
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MarcEdward
likes all cats more than most people
05:21 PM on 02/26/2013
Yes. What's your point? 
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gssamar
02:46 AM on 02/26/2013
I agree 100% with this post. But from one mother to another I want to suggest a different reason for your daughter's physical caution. She may have gravitational insecurity - a feeling that you are going to fall unless you have 2 feet planted firmly on the ground. My daughter had it, and through her diagnosis I realized that I do, too - it's what kept me from riding a bike without training wheels much later than my peers, makes me go down steep paths on my tush, keeps me tense if I'm standing on a wobbly chair, etc. My daughter had a few sessions with a children's occupational therapist, and while never a daredevil, got over the worst of her fears.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
BrightBetty
You say Bi-Polar like it's a bad thing.
05:19 PM on 02/25/2013
I agree and yet, I don't. I want my daughter to experience the failures that life brings but not most of the physical ones. As a clumsy person with a clumsy kid, I encourage caution when it comes to physical activities. No, it's not a good idea to ride your tricycle off the steps, no don't jump off the bunk bed, please do NOT try and do a cartwheel in our tiny house-etc etc. Didn't get an A on that math test? Well buck up and try harder next time. Didn't get a lead part in the PTA program? Well do your best at what you were given. The point is not to be better than everyone else, but to be better than *you've* ever been. That's the goal, your failures and your successes belong only to you, and only you can determine how you utilize them to make your life as you want it.
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11:08 PM on 02/25/2013
This so much. I knew someone who used to brag about "I let my kids climb on chairs and counters, because they'll learn after the first broken arm not to do that again." I guess simply pointing out "you could crack your skull, fall into a coma and die" is out of favor these day" ? 0_0
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BrightBetty
You say Bi-Polar like it's a bad thing.
08:18 AM on 02/26/2013
If I can help it, I don't want my kid to experience broken bones from *my* stupidity. 
03:41 PM on 02/25/2013
Gosh, I see the opposite trend. I agree with your article completely - and so does Brene Brown in Daring Greatly, Jen Hatmaker in her blog posts about wanting her children to take risks, and the important work of Jim Fay in "Love and Logic". I don't mean to take anything away from this important topic, but the trend really is on allowing kids to fail, teaching them about hope by allowing them to struggle, and instilling personal responsibility by experiencing natural consequences. The "helicopter parents" (Fay's term) think they are protecting their kids, or perhaps they are just handling their own discomfort at seeing their kids struggle, but they are not doing their kids any favors.
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Razpooten
Nil homini certum est
03:39 PM on 02/25/2013
Not sure why he said it but Ben Affleck put it just right the other night: “it doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life, (cause that’s going to happen), all that matters is that you got to get up.”
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CoachNelly2
04:25 PM on 02/25/2013
Probably in reference to Gigli.
05:37 PM on 02/25/2013
I'm the author of the post and I agree with you 100% I loved his speech last night. It was wonderful. No grudges.
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Razpooten
Nil homini certum est
06:48 PM on 02/25/2013
I don't particularly care for Affleck, or other movie stars but it is a good quote.
02:22 PM on 02/25/2013
I have put this to the test and proven it. My children were allowed to get their bumps, as it were, while a friend of mine and her family were total "helicopters". I just put down rubber padding and let my children "have at it"......My children were sitting reliably at 4-5mo, crawling at 5mo, and walking by 8/9 months. My friend's child could not sit up by himself until at least 10mo (without just letting himself fall over expecting someone to catch him), and did not crawl until almost a year. Walking was even later. Even when he started walking the family literally shadowed him all over the house making sure he never even fell on his bottom (they were convinced it would cause spinal trauma). The poor kid still can't fall properly and he's two now. My two year old (who is a month younger) can walk down the stairs by herself...... We aren't doing our kids any favors by overprotecting them.
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CoachNelly2
04:26 PM on 02/25/2013
I didn't over protect my child and she still didn't walk until she was a year old. Some of that is developmental.
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jamuelle
My micro-bio is not empty
11:30 AM on 02/26/2013
Just because a child can't sit at 4-5 months as yours did, which quite frankly, a child sitting reliably at 4 months is rather fantastical as they generally get good at holding their heads up at 3 months, but each child is different.

My son was born with Hypotonia. Low muscle tone. It affected the whole lower half of his body. He couldn't sit, not because he didn't want to, he physically could not. He had to have physical therapy for a year before he could walk and pull himself to a stand unassisted. Before he could crawl, he would roll to get where he wanted to and use his fine motor skills to get what he wanted.

We had to work with our son constantly to get him to be able to strengthen his muscles. I'm sure what we had to do with him the first two years looked like helicoptering, but it was so he could just catch up. Toilet training was frustrating to say the least. Riding a bike, just getting the peddles started was extremely difficult. He doesn't grow out of it, and it doesn't go away. He has learned to adapt.

Most babies born with hypotonia are not diagnosed until after their first birthday. We caught it extremely early at 7 months. It is extremely alarming when a child seems to not develop properly. You may not know your friends whole story with this child. And judging everyone else's children to yours is ridiculous.
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WWJJD
I don't give a damn about my bad reputation!
06:48 PM on 02/26/2013
Thank you for what you wrote. Our daughter also has hypotonia (along with a few other things), and at least one friend (without children) accused of us of being "overprotective" when we couldn't let her sit unassisted or she would fall over and get really hurt, more than just a bump.
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Karissa36
Saving lost boys and fighting pirates.
01:38 PM on 02/25/2013
Don't confuse physical risk with other types of risk, or think that a toddler's approach to physical risk is either stable, or predicts the same approach to another type of risk.

Especially at 2, a child is wary of physical risk. This is when anxiety about bodily integrity sets in very hard. Or to put it another way, the toddler years are when you wonder why you never had enough sense to buy stock in bandaids, because you constantly need to buy more to put on every infinitesimal boo boo. It is a natural stage of child development, and probably has some evolutionary survival value, by making toddlers cautious at an age they can seriously injure themselves. Right now she can run and climb much better than she can foresee possible dangerous consequences of running and climbing.

The physically timid 2 year old often grows into the 6 year old exuberant risk taker. When you are running and shouting at your intrepid daughter NOT to jump off the top of the sliding board at the playground, you'll look back at this article and smile.
01:06 PM on 02/25/2013
Great post!!! I read the title and was interested...after reading the article, I was not disappointed at all!

This is exactly the life lesson that I want my son to learn. Although only 18 months, he needs to learn that everything is not always peaches and sunshine. Sometimes, life can be rough and you have to learn how to bounce back from it. In my opinion, it helps him to value the beautiful and happy moments even that much more. This is a beautiful life lesson. Thanks for sharing!
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Marcin A Mazurek
You live and learn. At any rate, you live. - D.A
12:02 PM on 02/25/2013
Thomas Edison, I have thoughts about Thomas Edison

I'm sure Nikola Tesla has more than enough thoughts on Thomas Edison as well. I wouldn't use Thomas Edison as an example of "Toughing it out through failure"

I'd even rather take J.K Rowling's impressive story of trying and failing to get her first Potter book published than Edison, there's a case of 20/20 hindsight.
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DonnieReillyMMA
Astrotrain is the best Decepticon!
11:44 AM on 02/25/2013
I agree with your Jobs-Edison comparison but only in a negative sense. Im a tesla man
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Xak999
It came out of the faucet that way...
04:36 AM on 02/26/2013
of the coil?
10:39 AM on 02/25/2013
Don't rule out accepting and nurturing your child however she is. Like many other personality traits, some kids are just born more cautious than others. Be careful you don't make her feel like you disrespect that.
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Jennifer Ramirez
11:17 AM on 02/26/2013
there's cautious and there's "don't let air touch snowflake, it could hurt". I'm cautious, but my parents had me participate in ballet, gymnastics, kickball, etc. I'm still cautious to a point but I won't miss out on fun because I'm afraid of falling on the ice. Falling happens. In everything
02:34 PM on 02/26/2013
I totally agree.

Sometimes kids are just different from their parents, their siblings and their peers. This little girl may grow out of her cautiousness on her own, or she might stay that way and go on to become a CPA, an attorney or a judge. It may be in her nature to be that way.