Why It’s So Hard To Let My Kids Fail

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via Role Reboot

The advice is clear. If we want to raise resourceful and successful children, we need to give them opportunities to fail and learn from those failures. We can’t save them from every obstacle or hardship they encounter. I get it. Still, I find myself — an educated, responsible adult who reads smart books like Lahey’s — wondering, Why can’t I follow through?

Have I Disappeared Since Becoming a Mom?

Have you ever felt you’re becoming invisible as you get older?  My take on it, in On Parenting at The Washington Post.

I have hit rock bottom.

A few days ago, I was walking downtown.  A man walked toward me, his face stubbled, his soiled hands clutching plastic shopping bags.  An oversized jacket hung loose and undone from his thin frame.  As we passed each other, a low voice spoke out. “Nice legs mommy.”

I know a modern woman raised on feminist principles should oppose, even abhor, such behavior.  Yet, as I walked by, I felt a bit lighter. Dare I say a smile crept across my face. Read more here

An Open Letter to The Guy Who Discovered the 10,000 Hour Rule

 

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For anyone who has ever felt that driving our kids to achieve “mastery” is driving us all crazy, here is my open letter on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

Dear Mr. Psychologist/Scientist guy,

I only have a minute. Do you know why? Because the other ten thousand hours of my life are tied up schlepping my kids between elite hockey tournaments and Suzuki recitals. Which brings me to my point.

Remember that crap you made up about needing 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” to master a skill? You know, your big discovery that was co-opted by Malcolm Gladwell. (By the way, sorry about that. Maybe you should have put a few thousand hours into trademarking your work.) Anyway, I’m sure it’s true, but it’s made life hell for me and every other parent I know.  Read more here.

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Right on Time

Not long ago, I overheard my husband and son discussing my son’s request for a watch.

“Daddy,” he said. “I’m getting bigger now. I’m ten years old! I think it’s time I had a watch.”

Of course the eventual promise of a timepiece is not the end of the story, it’s merely the beginning–at least for me. Because my son then announced, “Hey, maybe this can be Mommy’s next article.  About me wanting a watch.”

Shortly before the watch incident, I had experienced a momentous occasion in my life: my publishing debut. An essay I wrote appeared in a national paper.

Before that, I had been thinking about “being a writer” for some time. I worked in Development at a major University, where I wrote a lot. Of course, grant proposals and requests for funding don’t often make the Pulitzer shortlist, so I never considered myself a “real writer.” The newspaper submission was my first attempt to write something people might actually want to read.    Read more at Literary Mama

Why “What do you do?” Is the Wrong Question to Ask

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Ever since I quit my “real” job — the one that required me to put on a cute outfit and leave the house every morning — I’ve had a problem with the question “What do you do?” I tend to fumble around a response before slowly slinking off or feigning interest in a distant object. Without the benefit of a traditionally defined job, there is no quick response.

Even in seemingly innocuous situations, “What do you do?” bothers me.   Continue reading…