It’s counterintuitive. To help children succeed, we need to let them fail. This is painful, both for us and for our kids. It’s hard to watch a child struggle, especially when part of that struggle involves denigrating self-talk. “I can’t!” “I’m not good at this!” “I’ll never get it!” “This is too hard!” It’s tempting to rush in with offers of help and words of encouragement, to wipe away our children’s frustration while leading them towards successful resolution. Ah, succes
But wait. Wiping away our children’s frustration robs them of the opportunity to learn to manage frustration, and sends the dangerous message that the endpoint is all that matters.