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The Gift of Failure

A parenting book. The author criticizes parental over-protection and argues that parents should let children do their things and let them fail to learn. These points feel similar to the ones made in How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims. It is however geared towards being more concrete, whereas Julie’s is more like an opinion piece.

Also, this can be interpreted as a variation of the “natural consequences” approach of modern parenting, introduced by books like Positive Discipline, but extending it to a non-disciplinary context which becomes more important as children grow.

The author mentions books like Grit, Mindset, and Drive – a self-help category I dubbed “Contemporary Guts Theories”. These connections are interesting, and I wonder what is special about parenting vs general self-help at this point.

Another question is how America’s obsession with self-improvement (and its reliance on influencers) affects parenting. Do we want our children to follow the self-help theories? If so, we might be projecting our desire onto children, that is, to be self-helping to achieve something, just like older generations were projecting theirs. Then, is it fair to criticize parents in different styles, like Asian Tiger Parents? We are in the same boat in the grand scheme of things.

Your Turn

This is not precisely a parenting book but is written by a popular parenting book author Julie Lythcott-Haims. The book is a set of advice for young adults in their twenties or early thirties. So it’s not really for me, but I enjoyed it regardless.

It talks about what adulthood should look like. The depiction told me how liberal American adults are supposed to live today. The author is very opinionated and I don’t necessarily agree with every point, but at least it gives a baseline and, more importantly, the anchor of what should be discussed. I don’t have that level of consciousness so it helped.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

I wanted some distraction and picked this from a bestseller list. The one-line summary for this book in that list is:

Two friends find their partnership challenged in the world of video game design.

Combined Print & E-Book Fiction – Best Sellers – Books

The story starts in their college lives and then enters into professional ones. The plot is dynamic and the writing style is very visual. The “video game design” part is relatively shallow but it’s good enough to make the details fancy.

I also enjoyed the depiction of Southern California. There is LA traffic, Beverly Hills, Korea Town, Venice, etc. It is very visual, although maybe a bit too stereotypical. It made me want to revisit there.