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Raising resilient, successful children: Practical advice from author Jessica Lahey on March 12

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BEL AIR — Teacher, international speaker, and celebrated author and columnist Jessica Lahey will present “The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed” on Thursday, March 12 from 6 – 8 p.m. at Patterson Mill High School.

The presentation is based on her New York Times best-selling book “The Gift of Failure” which offers parents common-sense advice on how to let children learn from their mistakes. The book has been recognized by Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Time, and numerous other publications as a must-have manual for all parents.

Parents and caregivers are invited to attend this free presentation sponsored by the Harford County Department of Community Services’ Office of Drug Control Policy, and held in partnership with Harford County Public Schools’ Parent Academy. Childcare will be available for children ages 4 – 12 at no cost. Attendees must register in advance at

A seasoned teacher, Ms. Lahey is internationally recognized as an expert on parenting styles and their impact on students’ motivation, learning and resilience. Her engaging presentation makes the case that children learn and develop best when they are given autonomy, allowed to feel competent, and valued for the content of their character rather than the letters on their report card. Ms. Lahey will answer questions and provide recommendations to help parents and educators reframe children’s temporary setbacks as beneficial steps toward lasting, long-term success.

Lahey earned a Bachelor of Arts in comparative literature from the University of Massachusetts and a Juris Doctorate with a concentration in juvenile and education law from the University of North Carolina School of Law. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two sons and teaches high school English and writing in Vermont. Her second book, “The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence,” will be released this year.

Presenting international speakers is one of many efforts by the Office of Drug Control Policy to reduce substance abuse and strengthen families in Harford County. More information is available at including the website, which provides tips and resources to help start and guide adults in conversations about addiction and mental health.

“With all of our efforts, our goal is to reach parents before their children are exposed to drugs and alcohol,” County Executive Barry Glassman said. “We also want every child who feels depressed, overwhelmed, or who may have questions about substance abuse and addiction, to feel comfortable talking to a parent or a trusted adult.”

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