Letter from Head of School
Hands down – Parenting is the toughest job just ask anyone who’s a parent and they’ll tell you that this 24/7 lifelong job is profoundly challenging. To parent well takes great commitment and the ability to not only reflect on what’s currently happening within the lives of our children but to reflect upon oneself.
Julie Vythcott-Haims is the former Dean of Freshman at Stanford University and author of the New York Times Bestseller: How To Raise An Adult. In her book, Vythcott-Haims challenges us, as parents and as a society, to consider how we parent and the impact our parenting has on our children. The decision to write, How To Raise An Adult, came from her work with college aged students. Vythcott-Haims observed that although students were very brilliant and accomplished on paper, they lacked the ability to take care of themselves. They could pass exams with flying colors but did not know what to do when they didn’t feel well. In a society that has adopted the goal of parenting to be: Raise successful children, Vythcott-Haims believes that our overprotective parenting, has impacted our children’s ability to care for themselves and to problem solve on their own. Because we overprotect children, they don’t develop confidence in their own abilities. Children, today, lack self-efficacy and thus the ability to be truly independent and successful.
So how can we parent wiser? Julie Vythcott-Haims’ Ted Talk shares some basic concepts that are essential for raising successful children. Click here to watch How To Raise Successful Kids – Without Over-parenting
At Clariden, we understand that independence is essential to well-being. We strive to teach our students to be responsible for their own stuff, their school work and for themselves. This all begins with simple things like guiding them to gather their own belongings, carrying their own backpack, and “owning” that their school work is their responsibility – their work. We teach them to clean up after themselves and to care about their environment – their school – each other and themselves. We teach them that when they put in the effort – like having to rebuild the rocket over and over again because the design failed or the engine ignited incorrectly – the outcome is directly impacted and the learning is greater. That trying, and failing, and trying again and again has value. Through this our students learn that they are capable. They learn to problem solve and through this they gain confidence and thus their self-efficacy strengthens.
“In order to succeed, people need a sense of self-efficacy, to struggle together with resilience to meet the inevitable obstacles and inequities of life.” – Albert Bandura