Jessica Lahey just posted this column on the New York Times web site and I think it may be the most important read I have seen for parents of the kinds of students I teach:
The only answer I know — the only answer I trust — is that you have to be willing to allow them to struggle.
Only then can they truly own their own success.
If they don't own their own failure, then they can't own their own success.
The eminent child psychologist Rudolf Dreikurs wrote about this more than 50 years ago, and it is as true now as it was then. You have to step back and let them own it. Dreikurs called this the practice of using natural and logical consequences. If the child doesn't own the problem, then s/he cannot own the solution.
I also love Dr. Charlotte Kasl's framing of this. She calls it the "Good luck with that!" response. I have seen this approach be very successful with students who have internalized a kind of passivity or learned helplessness that drives adults crazy. They have learned how to get adults to rescue them.
I think of this not as "tough love" or "grit" or a growth mindset. I think this is about the practice of maintaining — and helping adolescents learn how to maintain — strong, healthy boundaries.