My friend Sarah Marslender recommended I read Drop the Worry Ball, which has turned out to be one of my best reads of 2014. Originally, I set off reading it as a parent, but I quickly realized that this is a must read for all educators.
The subtitle of the book tells a pretty good summary: How to Parent in the Age of Entitlement. However, this is not a book about spoiled children. It is not a book about helicopter parents. It is a book about the effects of over parenting and rise of two types of children, the anxious teens and the disengaged ones.
As a parent and an educator, I wholeheartedly recommend this book for anyone involved with children. It will change how we view one another, how we judge one another and how we work with one another.
A few of my favorite tidbits from the book:
- “err on the side of benign neglect”
- “teachers and parents are playing hot potato with the worry ball” but what are the children doing?
- “watch, wait and wonder (as opposed to respond, manage and control)”
- “so remember, when she screws up, and something painful is happening, she’s about to learn”
Essentially, in the last decade, our societies have become consumed with an over parenting culture that is detrimental to our children. Schools have also bought in, often expecting parents to “fix” a child’s behavior from afar. As a parent myself, I realize how impossible this is.
The best thing for our children and our students is for us, the adults, to “drop the worry ball” and let our children pick it up. Hopefully, they’ll fail early on, when the stakes aren’t too high. And if they don’t, eventually, they’ll have to live with the failure.
Well-written, engaging, humorous and honest, Drop the Worry Ball is a must read. Enjoy!