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“Should You Teach Your Kids to Fail?”


A recent New York Times article “Teach Your Kids to Fail”[1] can inadvertently turn your health around if you take it to heart.

The point of the article?  Don’t tell your kids they are smart.  Telling them they are smart sets them up for failure when they encounter challenges where they struggle.

I.e., where they feel dumb.  “I’m smart, yet I can’t do this, so now I feel dumb,”  type of thinking leads kids to bail out of challenges and not try, according to a growing consensus of researchers in the field.

Trying, in other words (especially when we feel that we shouldn’t have to) is hard to do.  How can this strange concept turnaround your health?

We have labels for people that care about their health.  Health nut.  Or maybe in more polite circles, ‘health-conscious.’  But take a cue from parenting research.

What if, in these days of hi-tech solutions and high health-care demand, if the secret solution was simply effort?  An effort to produce an outcome that is positive…

...rather than simply saying “this is who I am, and if I hit a challenge I will quit?”

It might sound crazy but if you work with patients and want to see them truly healthier - not simply treating mounting symptoms as they get less healthy over time - you see this hidden concept at work.

That you have to want it.  You have to care.  You have to be willing to put in regular action - effort - to ensure your health in this modern day and age, of increased stress, increased technology, and decreased exposure to the natural world that the body needs to be healthy.  Actions that ensure quality movement, the natural environment, and whole foods.

So a little like a passionate sports coach, there is sometimes some motivation involved.  Fire people up, with some enthusiasm and zest for being our best - like a memorable half-time speech.  A great wellness professional is an inspiration.

But even more than that, the job is just the same as helping kids try their best - and that is just not putting ideas in place that get in our way in the first place.

Because you were designed to be healthy - it is simply a matter of putting in the work in the right places - to see what your body is really capable of without the obstacles and interferences that have accumulated along the way..

[1] Teach Your Kids to Fail. New York Times Jan. 8, 2020. Jessica Grose. 

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