Cheryl's birthday. Outrage at another "impossible question". Parents claim, "it's not fair".

Sometimes we ask question that push the limits of our student's understanding. Some might get it wrong, some might get it right. It doesn't matter. What is important is that students experience the joy of figuring things themselves, and learn to take responsibility for their own success.

The challenge, said Ms. Lythcott-Haims, is to trust that our children are both capable and motivated. “We can be so beautifully surprised at how our kids step in, step forward, and really claim that agency and responsibility in their own lives,” she said.

And if they don’t? “We act as if it’s all make or break for their future, and we need to be involved, to make sure,” she said. “What’s the worst thing that can happen if you don’t intervene?”