134: Screwing Up And Why It’s Important – Talking With Mom and New York Times Best-selling Author Jessica Lahey (Rebroadcast)

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Thursday, February 2, 2017 8 PM EST

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Welcome! To listen, scroll down to the bottom of this post and press the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

Diving into the archives of We Turned Out Okay, and finding wonderfIMG_1927ul shows like this one which you may not have heard before (and will get something out of even if you have heard it already), seems like a fitting start to a new year.

My guest today, Gift of Failure author Jessica Lahey, has helped me in so many ways: to be a better mom, to forgive myself when I screw up, to take the long view on mistakes, thinking not so much about epic fails but instead asking myself “how do I learn from this?” (Jess is also 1/2 of the #amwriting with Jess and KJ duo; click here to check out one of my favorite podcasts, and great if you have any interest in writing or creating!)

I know you’ll learn a lot from our conversation today, thanks for tuning in!

Today’s show is brought to you by the Ninja Parenting Community:

If you like what you hear on We Turned Out Okay, but you feel like it’s not quite enough…
If you want more personal help and advice from me…
The Ninja Parenting Community is the place for you to get that help!

– We’ve got classes, like Sanity With Kids, to help you simultaneously raise your children and retain your sanity
– Parent-Coaching calls: one “starter” call for monthly members and one each quarter for annual members
– Forums where I personally help and advise members – and where we all support each other

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This coming Friday the cost will double when we leave beta, so click this link to see what it’s all about!

Want a closer look PLUS a free copy of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, the book I wrote to help you handle everything your child can throw at you?

Come to the live NPC FAQ Q&A!
This coming Thursday night, February 2, at 8 PM EST you can:
look inside the community
listen as I address lots of frequently asked questions
ask your questions!

And just for showing up at the Q&A you’ll receive a free copy of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics! Up until now the book has only been available in Amazon – get it for free at the Q&A : )

To sign up for the NPC FAQ Q&A – and for notes to today’s show, go to weturnedoutokay.com/134!

About this episode:

Several years ago, today’s guest wrote what was for me an earth-shattering piece in the Atlantic Monthly (read it here). Jessica Lahey’s article discusses an experience she had as a middle school teacher, where she realized a student had plagiarized, called the student’s mom to discuss the failing grade the student would be getting – and the mom said “you can’t fail her…3D-bookshot-wo-border I wrote that paper for her, she has too much on her plate and couldn’t do it herself.”

My guest’s article talks about how, when your mom writes your papers, you are robbed of the experience. It’s one way in which you are not learning how to fall down – by writing a bad paper – and get back up again.

Fast forward to summer 2015, when I heard Jess on the wonderful podcast The Good Life Project, discussing both the article and her new book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. Last December, I attended Jessica’s live presentation about The Gift of Failure, and she graciously offered to come on the podcast; today’s episode is the conversation we had a week or so later, and it’s a great one!

During our conversation, I share that, as a parent, I tried really hard to make sure everything was perfect for my kids when they were little.

I ask Jess: why do we parents do this? She laughs – the sympathetic laugh of a woman who has been in my shoes – and talks about how we want what’s best for them, and we also want that jolt of oxytocin that comes with being depended upon… And then shares about how she moved from encouraging this kind of dependence to seeing her relationship with her kids blossom when she started encouraging their autonomy rather than their dependence upon her.

Highlights from our conversation include:

1) the work of Carol Dweck, a researcher who focuses on the difference between a fixed and a growth mindset; believe me, we want to encourage a growth mindset, the one in which our kids look upon challenges as fun and setbacks as learning experiences instead of a reason to give up

2) the relationship between these three words: autonomy, competence, and connection; one of the major themes in The Gift of Failure, Jess illustrates that as parents, our job is to foster these three traits in our children, they are the key to a good life

3) how to give our kids the gift of failure, without feeling like failures ourselves; there’s a real mind shift that must take place to go from “oh – let me do that for you” to “hey, great job – you worked really hard and did that for yourself!”

Overall, I love our conversation because it’s clear that Jessica Lahey sees both sides of this coin, understands this from the perspective of a parent who doesn’t let her children fall down and figure out how to get back up. In her book, her live presentations, and in this interview she provides a roadmap to give our kids the gift of failure – and understand what a true gift it is.

Trouble with tantrums?

With littles, meltdowns are hard to avoid.

So I came up with the HEART method to help you:
– remain calm
– stop worrying about judginess with public tantrums
– know you’re not alone

To calmly, decisively handle every on of your child’s tantrums, click the button below!

Click Here to Get the Guide

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