The Point

The Point: Prepare Them for Failure


John Stonestreet

Failing can be educational too.

Across the country, college counseling services are overwhelmed.

As Peter Gray writes at Psychology Today, “Students are increasingly seeking help for, and apparently having emotional crises over, problems of everyday life,” especially coping with failure.

Many interpret a “B” or “C” on a test “as the end of the world.” Instead of working harder, they just complain about the professor, or the course—and writing poor reviews, sometimes even filing lawsuits.

Many professors say they’re bewildered and helpless as they encounter these young people who, just a few short years ago, were expected to act like—you know—adults in college.

Gray cites “helicopter parenting” as a major factor: parents being the ultimate “fixers” for their kids when they hit the smallest bump in the road.

That doesn’t prepare them for life.  Kids should be allowed to fail. We can support and guide them, but since failure is inevitable this side of heaven, we might as well prepare them for how to handle it.

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