Eight Setbacks That Can Make a Child a Success

What to Do and What to Say to Turn "Failures" into Character-Building Moments

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Pub Date 22 Aug 2023 | Archive Date 30 Nov 2023
Rodale Inc., Rodale Books

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Turn common adolescent missteps, from relationship blunders to rebellions that backfire, into character-building moments—by the author of Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen.

“This clear-eyed, practical, fun-to-read guide is an essential read for every parent.”—Lisa Damour, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of Untangled, Under Pressure, and The Emotional Lives of Teenagers

Every child messes up, sometimes in ways that seem sure to wreck their futures: a bad report card, poor sportsmanship, underaged drinking. These are tough moments for parent and child alike, often complicated by the fear that the misstep is also an indictment of our parenting. But what each of these “fails” has in common for our kids is the precious silver lining of a chance for character building and developing more grit—if we help them process their mistake well.

An invaluable playbook for anxious parents everywhere, Eight Setbacks That Can Make a Child a Success offers specific and unexpected advice about what to say, what not to say, and what to do to help children in eight categories of tense situations. Distilled from Michelle Icard’s decades of experience working with tweens, teenagers, and families, it also introduces her signature three-step approach to any kind of failure:

Contain: Affirm your child, gather the facts, and control the narrative.
Resolve: Explain what went wrong, define clear consequences, teach them to apologize well, and develop a plan to rebuild trust. 
Evolve: Reaffirm and re-expand their rights, and establish rewards for good behaviors. 

With empathy, insight, and optimism, Michelle Icard’s advice ensures that a child’s mistake or rebellion doesn’t become the headline of their childhood, but instead becomes a launch pad to a better future.
Turn common adolescent missteps, from relationship blunders to rebellions that backfire, into character-building moments—by the author of Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen.

“This clear-eyed, practical...

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Featured Reviews

As a parent, I am constantly looking to equip myself with the tools to help my children navigate their lives. I enjoyed this book and found it helpful. The examples really helped illustrate the author's points.

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This is the 3rd Michelle Icard I've read. I really love reading her books about raising teens and tweens. Like the other books I've read by Icard, this book has a conversational style that is easy to read. Icard's suggestions feel down-to-earth and logical. She understands the developmental stages that teens and tweens experience and guides parents in supporting their children as they learn from their mistakes. By calmly dealing with 'failures' that arise, Icard shows how parents can help change these 'failures' into opportunities to learn and grow. Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy in return for my honest review.

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My sister is expecting her first baby and has two soon to be step kids, I know they’re all going to go through things in life and I want to be as prepared mentally and emotionally as a I can be. Do I know they’re gonna struggle just like I did as a child/teen? Of course. But I want to be able to help them grow into well functioning adults not hinder them by coddling them. Through reading the real life experiences and tidbits of information, I feel I am 1% less stressed about going from no kiddos in my life to having three and not completely ruining them. My husband is also a fourth grade teacher and I will be getting him this once it releases to read and encourage his staff to do the same

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I received a free e-arc of this book through Netgalley.
This is really a good book for parents of any age children/young adults to read before there are any issues as well as when problems start popping up. It has very specific step by step directions for helping your child through a crisis so you definitely want to own or check out a copy of this book to have on hand for those situations. I really appreciated the very specific information and could think of situations with certain children that this could be handy for.

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This is a must read for all parents and teachers. It includes practical, tangible, and realistic information and suggestions. I loved this one!

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