Educator & Best-Selling Author of The Gift of Failure
Teacher, New York Times best-selling author and columnist Jessica Lahey is inspiring audiences with her rallying cry to allow children to experience failure as an integral part of becoming successful, resilient and self-reliant adults. Her breakthrough manifesto, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed, has become essential reading for parents, educators and coaches and declared a “must-read” by magazines as varied as Working Mother, Fortune and Education Week. In schools around the world, The Gift of Failure is being deployed as a community read that sparks dialog and improves cultures. As a highly sought-after speaker, Jessica addresses “overparenting” with the helpful authority of a seasoned teacher and the empathetic, often humorous, personal perspective of a mom who has truly been there. Her engaging presentations simplify complex cognitive neuroscience and pedagogy, making the case that children learn and develop best when they are given autonomy, allowed to feel competent and valued for the content of their character rather than the letters on their report card. She also provides actionable recommendations to help parents (and the educators that work with them) reframe children’s temporary setbacks as beneficial steps toward lasting, longer-term success. Read More >
The Gift of Failure
Changing the Odds
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation
Learning to Let Go
Letting Your Kids Make Their Own Mistakes
Modern parenting has become defined by an unprecedented level of overprotectiveness. We all know parents who rush to school to deliver forgotten assignments, challenge teachers on disappointing report cards, mastermind their children’s friendships or interfere on the playing field. According to teacher and bestselling author, Jessica Lahey, this “overparenting” has the potential to both ruin children’s confidence and undermine their education. By letting go and allowing children to learn how to solve problems on their own, we give them the tools to grow up to be self-reliant, confident and successful adults. That’s the Gift of Failure. Jessica reminds us that teachers don’t just teach reading, writing or arithmetic. Like coaches and others who work with children, they also teach responsibility, organization, manners, restraint and foresight — important life skills that shape stronger futures. In this powerful presentation that can be tailored to parents, educators, administrators, coaches, community members and students at all grade levels, Jessica Lahey champions failure as a crucial element of long-term success. She also provides indispensable advice for handling homework, report cards, social dynamics, competitive sports and more.
"Jessica’s presentation focused on teaching children the intrinsic value of resilience, perseverance and learning from a growth-oriented mindset. In essence, how to foster and promote their success within a supportive framework that discourages parents from over scheduling and hovering. It was a good reminder to us all that it’s okay for a child to experience small and reasonable failures. It’s all about “the getting up” when you’re knocked down. Jess is very articulate and persuasive and she was a joy to work with. We highly recommend her."
"Jessica presented to be both the parent community at Severn School as well as the Middle School and Upper School students. The information she presented to parents was spot-on and very well received. Her discussion on the differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation was a great foundation in which to understand ways parents could support their children to become more independent. She had a very nice way of giving parents ‘permission’ and reasons grounded in research to ‘back off’ as their children learn and grow with new responsibilities. Jessica is a speaker who is very relatable and connects easily with her audiences!"
"Jessica Lahey delivered a captivating keynote talk at LearnFest’17 about the importance of intrinsic motivation and its connection to student success. Jessica is an energetic storyteller who delivers powerful advice for teaching and raising resilient children. Her humorous delivery coupled with her experience as a classroom teacher delighted a diverse audience of teachers and parents."
"Jessica’s talk was engaging and spot-on, and the kind of thought-provoking content with which we are hoping to engage our parent and teacher audience. She was generous with her time both before and after the talk, answering questions for folks. She made it a special night for all!"
"Jessica gets middle school! At our recent parent event, Jessica did a wonderful job of connecting the realities of parenting a middle school child with the larger topic of resilience. The audience left with both specific strategies to try at home as well as a framework for understanding the true needs of adolescents. As a parent and an educator, we were impressed and grateful.”
"We cannot begin to overstate how powerful and timely her message was for our community. Since her talk, dozens of parents have approached us noting that Jessica was the “best speaker the school has ever had,” or “is there a way we could have her speak on an annual basis?” We can say without equivocation that this praise is spot on. Jessica is personable, incredibly easy to work with, and relates beautifully to a wide-ranging audience. We were blessed to have her speak to our community, and would highly recommend her!"
"Jessica spoke to a rapt audience of parents and teachers from our school as well as from the surrounding community. She explained pertinent research in clear and easily understood terms, and dispensed guidance and advice in a supportive and friendly manner. Everyone left with at least one new skill to apply in their classrooms or around the dinner table at homework time. Jessica’s anecdotes about her own experiences as a mother and teacher were not only entertaining; they made us feel that we were benefiting from the wisdom of a trusted friend. We highly recommend her for your school community, and are looking forward to reading her book!"