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Should you let your child fail?  Should we not give a first, second, third place and just give a participation ribbon to everyone?

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before but had once failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

 The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism. All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

 After the first test, the grades were averaged, and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset, and the students who studied little were happy.

 As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less, and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

 When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings, and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. 

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail, because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.  Could not be any simpler than that.

 So I believe in giving grades in school instead of everyone getting a passing.  Yes some kids will not make first place in a sport but we learn to get over defeat.  Look how many times Edison failed to make the light bulb before succeeding.  Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Jordan once observed, "I've failed over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed."  For many examples of famous people who failed first: see: Failures 

 Also many of the things we learn growing up we learned in the school of hard knocks.  Your parents did not teach you how to handle the bully on the playground or the guy who hit on you at your job.  We parents cannot teach our children everything and we are not responsible for everything.  We are the most important influence for making our children turn out to be good, kind, and honest human beings.  When your children get upset over failures it hurts us more than it hurts them.  When we protect our children from these heart breaking events, it seems we are protecting us more than our children from these hurting feelings.  I now realize what heart aches my parents went through while raising me!


 Helicopter Parents

 Roger Knapp MD

Also: What about those that did not finish college?

Walt Disney, producer, director, screenwriter, animator, developer of Disneyland. Winner of 26 Oscars and 7 Emmy awards. While attending McKinley High School, he also took night classes at the Chicago Art Institute. He dropped out of high school at the age of 16 to join the army. Rejected because he was underaged, he joined the Red Cross and was sent to war in Europe. Upon his return from war, he began his artistic career.