Jean Twenge manages to give across a rock solid argument for why some youngsters feel they are so 'entitled'. For additional reading please see Carol Craig.
Perhaps whats needed here is failure in school? Failure, early on in a secure environment to build up children's resilience?
Our children are failing to learn because they haven't learnt how to fail. They are more confident, more individual and more vulnerable than they ever have been. When they don't know what to do, they crumble. Do they have the resilience necessary to secure the job or career they want? They are labeled as bright, dim, clever or stupid at younger and younger ages. The IQ test continues to be the basis for the 11+ exam in the UK and is over 100 years old. Can you imagine if medicine, technology or science still used instruments and measurements from 100 years ago?
Can we reverse this? I think we can. I introduce the theory of positive and negative failure. Positive failure in its simplest form is a dose of failure that is similar to a vaccination process. The process of vaccination is not pleasant. I argue that the theory of positive failure mirrors the patterns of Edward Genner's smallpox vaccine and functions within the same paradigm.
In a world of mandatory success, I argue that success can breed contempt and positive failure breeds progression. To distinguish between the two types of failure, I offer this definition:
Positive failure: is failure after appropriate investment that leads to further learning or development.
Negative failure: is failure after inappropriate investment that stunts further progress or development.
Conducive to positive failure are appropriately supportive and forgiving relationships in an unforgiving environment. The more realistic and tangible the challenge or standard, the more likely it is for positive failure to occur.
I argue that negative failure adversely effects self-esteem and resilience. Positive failure does not adversely affect self-esteem, but strengthens and builds it. For positive failure to yield the best results, I suggest the following preconditions are important.
Pre-conditions for positive failure: acceptance of ones own vulnerability, having a growth mindset and embracing imperfection.
Pre-conditions for negative failure: defiance of ones own vulnerability, having a fixed mindset and embracing perfectionism.
Rather than trying to live up to a perfectionalist idea of yourself, which is projected by someone else, why not embrace our own strengths, our own failures and our own weaknesses. I encourage us to see failure as a gift, as an irreplaceable source of laughter, art, individuality, creativity and change.
@Alastair_Arnott Positive Failure