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Seven important lessons failure teaches our children

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Josh Broide

Josh Broide

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Today, it seems that anything short of unqualified success from our children is a source of quaking self-esteem, if not downright humiliation – theirs, and ours. We want them to avoid failure at all costs. And they're not more successful because of it. Just pick up a paper and read how our children “rank” in school compared with those in other countries, have never been more involved in risky behavior, and are at times “diagnosed” and medicated at the first sign of stress. Is the answer to let our children flail? Abdicate? Is the “antidote” to join the Tiger moms of the world, turning persistence at any price to punishment and humiliation we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy to avoid humiliation? As with all Jewish teachings, the answer lies in sense, balance, and a thorough understanding of what we’re truly trying to achieve. And that dicey goal is simple: character.

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