Parenting

Jen Hatmaker on Why It's Good to Let Your Kids Fail

“We are going to be the tip-top in our class. Success is going to be guaranteed.”

Not for Jen Hatmaker’s kids.

The author of For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards, which comes out August 18, 2015, believes it’s more constructive to let her kids fail during their childhood: “Hey, guess what? If you forgot your homework at home, sorry, you’ll remember next time. … If you didn’t do your reading log, sorry, it’s going to sting when you miss your recess.” Rather than cushion their every blow, the Hatmakers view growing up as the time to teach their kids responsibility, learn how to overcome failure, and deal with difficult relationships.

What strikes me as interesting about the above is that I can think of absolutely zero parents who would disagree with any of it — in theory — but a slew whose practice says otherwise. From free range to helicopter to tiger mom to absent dad, all parents agree their kids need to learn responsibility, and most think they are somehow teaching them responsibility. Unfortunately, it is obvious that some of us are kidding ourselves. It’s enough to make you think about whether you are practicing what you and everyone else is preaching.

What do you think — do you let your kids fail enough?

You can pre-order For the Love from Amazon here.