Chris Grosso – The Indie Spiritualist – Ep. 79 – The Gift of Failure with Jessica Lahey

Chris Grosso - The Indie Spiritualist - Ep. 79 - Jessica Lahey

Chris is joined by Jessica Lahey, a teacher, writer and mom, who shares strategies for effective parenting that allow children to learn and grow from failure.

Jessica Lahey writes about education, parenting, and child welfare for The Atlantic, Vermont Public Radio, and the New York Times, and is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. Learn more at

Links from this episode: FOLLOW THROUGH | Gift of Failure FAQ

Show Notes

The Gift of Failure (Opening) – Jessica shares the lessons she learned as a parent and a teacher when the same signs of unhealthy parenting that she saw in the classroom began arising in her own children’s lives. She and Chris discuss the shortcomings of an overly direct parenting style that seeks to protect children from the consequences of failure but in practice actually, hinders the development of their children.

“I became a parent and a middle school teacher in the same year and these twin roles have shaped how I have raised my children and educated my students. Over the course of my first decade of raising two boys and teaching hundreds of children, I began to feel a creeping sense of unease a suspicion that something was rotten in the state of my parenting. It was only when my own children entered middle school that my worlds collided and the source of the problem became clear to me. Today’s overprotective, failure avoidant parenting style has undermined the competence, independence and academic potential of an entire generation.” – Jessica Lahey  

Sobriety and Success (22:45) – Chris and Jessica talk about facing addiction and how addictive behavior holds us back from our true potential. She shares her own struggles with alcohol dependency and discusses the opportunities that her recovery presented her with.

“You have to give something up sometimes to make these huge life goals come true. For me, in order to make this book written, I had to give up booze. I couldn’t write and drink at the same time. it wasn’t going to happen.”  – Jessica Lahey  

5 Tips for Parents (42:45) – Jessica shares the five essential strategies for effecting immediate change in the way that we approach parenting.

Explore the topic of conscious parenting with Ram Dass on Ep. 90 of the Here and Now Podcast
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