Redefining success for kids

How we define success for our kids can actually end up harming them. Madeline Levine is a founder at Challenge Success and the author of Teach Your Children Well: Why Values and Coping Skills Matter More than Grades, Trophies, or “Fat Envelopes.”

She’s also an advocate of redefining success for kids and not making everything about grades, test scores, and getting into a “good” college. But what I particularly appreciate about her advice is that, as a parent herself, she understands why redefining success feels so risky for so many families.

This 15-minute podcast interview with Levine is worth a listen for parents, and there were plenty of snippets I wanted to share. But I’ll limit it to this one, which was her response to a query about why it is so difficult for parents to adjust their vision of success for their kids.

“As kids get older, we become increasingly fearful of letting them make choices. ‘What if they make the wrong choice? It’ll keep them out of this school. It’ll keep them off that team.’ Not understanding that the experience of recovering from a mistake or a failure or a challenge is exactly where most of us grow. The capacity to tolerate failure, to learn from it, cultivates resilience.”