Friday, October 23, 2015

Why helicopter parenting is ruining a generation of children

Julie Lythcott-Haims noticed a disturbing trend during her decade as a dean of freshmen at Stanford University. Incoming students were brilliant and accomplished and virtually flawless, on paper. But with each year, more of them seemed incapable of taking care of themselves.

At the same time, parents were becoming more and more involved in their children’s lives. They talked to their children multiple times a day and swooped in to personally intervene whenever something difficult happened.

From her former position at one of the world’s most prestigious schools, ­Lythcott-Haims came to believe that mothers and fathers in affluent communities have been hobbling their children by trying so hard to make sure they succeed and by working so diligently to protect them from disappointment, failure and hardship.

Such “overhelping” might assist children in developing impressive résumés for college admission, but it also robs them of the chance to learn who they are, what they love and how to navigate the world, Lythcott-Haims argues in her book, “How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success.”

“We want so badly to help them by shepherding them from milestone to milestone and by shielding them from failure and pain. But overhelping causes harm,” she writes. “It can leave young adults without the strengths of skill, will and character that are needed to know themselves and to craft a life.” [...]

“Our job as a parent is to put ourselves out of a job,” she said. “We need to know that our children have the wherewithal to get up in the morning and take care of themselves.” [...]

1 comment :

  1. I am reminded of a video clip from Rabbi Dr Sorotzkin that he and his frum colleagues have never had a problem from kids being ' spoiled' only when these kids emotional needs , needs for acceptance etc , etc have not yet being met and then the ' materialism ' compensates for these needs and then we have problems. The media attention given to HP is based largely on anecdotal evidence of dysfunctional students and their parents where the problem is more of being over- controlling which is rather different from being supportive. A closer look at the evidence and what is happening on the ground sugests that the problem is far from being epidemic as the media suggests and that being an involved and supportive parent can actually help -


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.