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Geneva School of Boerne is continually seeking ways to actively involve the parents, siblings, and grandparents of students in the programs and activities of the school.

The Parents' Corner includes links to the school's weekly communications (such as iFYI and WAGs) as well as order forms (lunch, Booster Club items, etc.) and schedules.

Visit the Parents Corner

Changing Minds

Two weeks ago, Jessica Gombert wrote an article about the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck.  The book is one of several out right now that have a common message: kids need freedom to make mistakes in order to grow, mature and develop perseverance; we, the adults in their lives, can get in the way if we are not careful; we need to take a “long-view” with regard to the slow and often unsteady development that occurs throughout childhood into young adulthood.

Books with similar messages include:

  • The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey
  • How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims
  • How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

In today’s email to Rhetoric School parents and students, Rob Shelton quotes from a recent essay in Psychology Today titled “Declining Student Resilience: A Serious Problem for Colleges.”  Dr. Peter Gray, a professor at Boston College, writes:

We have raised a generation of young people who have not been given the opportunity to learn how to solve their own problems. They have not been given the opportunity to get into trouble and find their own way out, to experience failure and realize they can survive it, to be called bad names by others and learn how to respond without adult intervention. So now, here’s what we have: Young people, 18 years and older, going to college still unable or unwilling to take responsibility for themselves, still feeling that if a problem arises they need an adult to solve it.

Jessica Lahey, middle school teacher and author of The Gift of Failure, writes in a recent Atlantic Monthly article titled “When Success Leads to Failure” about meeting with the mother of Marianna, a successful but uninspired student, and reflecting on the reasons why students such as Marianna lose a love for learning:

We taught Marianna that her potential is tied to her intellect, and that her intellect is more important than her character. We taught her to come home proudly bearing As, championship trophies, and college acceptances, and we inadvertently taught her that we don’t really care how she obtains them. We taught her to protect her academic and extracurricular perfection at all costs and that it’s better to quit when things get challenging rather than risk marring that perfect record. Above all else, we taught her to fear failure. That fear is what has destroyed her love of learning.

As Jessica Gombert wrote two weeks ago, these problems can be corrected through the use of common language as well as effective praise.  Adam Grant, professor at the Wharton School, offers several suggestions in his New York Times essay Raising a Moral Child:

  • Praise character more than actions (“You are a helpful person” vs. “You did a helpful thing”)
  • Use nouns more than verbs when addressing moral behavior (“Don’t be a cheater” vs. “Don’t cheat”)
  • Guilt can be good, shame crippling (“I am disappointed in your behavior – I know you can do better” vs “You are a bad person”)
  • Children need to see adults model the characteristics and attitudes we want them to have

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we have the blessed benefit of the convicting and assisting power of God’s Spirit.  May we lean upon Him in our struggle to raise our children to the glory of God.

Brad Ryden

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