The Importance of Failure


Dr. Corinne Masur

Last week in The Sunday New York Times there was an article describing how college students need to to be TAUGHT that it’s okay to fail occasionally. Smith, a prestigious women’s college, offers a presentation called “Failing Well” during student orientation, which gives out a certificate saying, “You are hereby authorized to screw up, bomb or fail at one or more relationships, hookups, friendships, texts, exams or extracurriculars or any other choice associated with college…and still be a totally worthy, utterly excellent human.”

Evidently many 18 year olds are getting to college having suffered very few disappointments or failures of any kind. Or they get to college rarely having had to handle disappointment on their own. They are simply unprepared for this experience. Residence life offices are inundated with students who come in sobbing that they did not get their first choice of roommate, that they got less than an A- on an exam, or that they got rejected from a club.

How did we, as a society, or we as parents and educators and mental health professionals allow this to happen? We simply have to ask ourselves this question. Continue reading

The Benefits of Recess

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released new findings that demonstrate the benefits of recess for children and their schools:

Unknown“When elementary schools create a safe and healthy recess for students, there can be a major impact on individual kids and school climate overall. In schools with safe and healthy recess students are more active, more cooperative, and more likely to use strong conflict resolution tools. Schools also see more drops in bullying and disciplinary referrals, and reductions in the number of conflicts that start in recess, spill back into class, and take up valuable class time to resolve.”

Check it out here:

How Was Your Day? Talking to Children After School


Dr. Corinne Masur

It’s a time honored tradition for parents, grandparents, and other adults to ask children “how was you day at school?”

And, as any parent or any observant adult knows, these questions usually elicit very little in the way of information. In fact, all you are likely to get is a shrug of the shoulders!

What’s going on here?

Why do adults always ask these questions and why don’t children ever answer? Continue reading

Gun Violence in Schools

Dr. Corinne Masur

This week Philadelphia got the double whammy.  On Sunday, an e-mail alert went around to staff of local colleges and universities. A message had been posted on social media threatening an act of violence on an undisclosed college campus in the Philadelphia area on Monday morning.  Tuesday, a gunman was reported to be on the campus of Philadelphia Community College and the campus was put into lockdown. Masterman, a public magnet school for junior high and high school students across the street and Friends Select School, a Quaker k-12 school in the neighborhood also went into lockdown.

My son attends Friends Select.  As I was leaving for work that morning, I received a recorded message on my cell phone saying that due to the presence of a gunman at the Community College, Friends Select faculty, staff, and students were locked in the school until further notice.

I was shocked.  I was frightened.  But more than anything, I was angry. Continue reading