10. Kids Can Fail and Work Through Adversity

A couple weeks ago, I did a recording with a local radio station about allowing your child to fail. That’s what I want to play for you today. (Keep in mind that it was recorded during Holy Week, which will help make some of the banter make sense!)

As parents, we often want to jump in and protect our children, smoothing their paths and ensuring their safety. We want to save them from their own mistakes. Trust me, as a dad myself, I’m very familiar with this! But sometimes we need to let our kids fail on their own, so they can learn to succeed and thrive on their own.

Do you have the overwhelming instinct to step in and protect your child from failure? (We all do!) Learn why that’s not always a good thing on #ParentingMatters. Click To Tweet

One of the clearest examples of this that I’ve experienced was when my son was new to karate. He wasn’t skilled enough to block the instructor’s bops to the head with a foam noodle, and his eyes were welling with tears. I wanted to intervene, but instead, I sat back and pretended not to notice. Believe it or not, everything turned out for the best.

When we protect our children too much, they don’t learn to be confident, self-reliant people. Instead, they learn that we’ll do things for them… and that we don’t believe that they have the confidence, skills, or ability to succeed on their own. Allowing our children to fail is incredibly hard, but absolutely vital.

In This Episode:

[00:54] – Welcome to Parenting Matters! Today’s episode will be a little different, Dr. B explains, and introduces the topic of the episode.

[04:12] – The radio interview with Dr. B begins with the hosts introducing Dr. B.

[05:10] – Dr. B talks about a blog post that he wrote addressing the importance of not always intervening when things aren’t going right for your kids.

[06:15] – We hear about snowplow parents in relation to the recent college admissions scandal.

[08:00] – How do we, as parents, equip our kids to begin to face challenges and adversity?

[10:01] – Dr. B hears from teachers all the time that parents try to protect their kids from going through any adversity.

[12:06] – Where did this mentality of “us against others” rather than working together come from?

[14:22] – Dr. B talks about what our children take away from seeing adults behaving badly, as in the college admissions scandal.

[17:11] – We hear about the fine line between providing support and minimizing adversity.

[17:54] – As parents, how do we know when it’s the right (or wrong) time to intervene?

“There’s really a balance that you have to strike between giving your child support, and taking away their suffering and adversity.” - @DrPhilBoucher #parentingmatters Click To Tweet

Links and Resources:

Dr. Phil Boucher on Instagram

@DrPhilBoucher on Twitter

@DrPhilBoucher on Facebook

Present and Productive Parents with Dr. Phil Boucher Group on Facebook

Dr. Phil Boucher


Ignoring Your Child’s Tears (Dr. B’s blog post)

College Admissions Scandal

Protecting your child from adversity isn’t doing them any favors. Empower your children by letting them struggle, fail, and overcome challenges! Tune into #ParentingMatters to learn more. Click To Tweet


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