Julie Lythcott-Haims, a former Stanford University dean, has warned about the dangers of so-called helicopter parenting.
She wrote a book on the subject that was published earlier this year, called How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success.
Lythcott-Haims was Dean of Freshmen at the California school for ten years, the website for her book says.
The website announces: ‘In How to Raise an Adult, Julie Lythcott-Haims draws on research, on conversations with admissions officers, educators, and employers, and on her own insights as a mother and as a student dean to highlight the ways in which overparenting harms children, their stressed-out parents, and society at large.’
In a book excerpt published by The Washington Post, she says ‘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.
‘It can leave young adults without the strengths of skill, will and character that are needed to know themselves and to craft a life.’
The Washington Post reported that some of Lythcott-Haims’s suggestions for parents include teaching children real-life skills and assigning them chores.
Lythcott-Haims told the newspaper: ‘They [chores] build life skills and a work ethic.’
Lythcott-Haims told The Washington Post: ‘If you’re arguing with teachers and principals and coaches and umpires all the time, it’s a sign you’re a little too invested.
‘When we’re doing all the arguing, we are not teaching our kids to advocate for themselves.’
The website for the former dean’s book indicates Lythcott-Haims is doing a book tour through May 4. Many of those events are scheduled to happen at schools.
Lythcott-Haims told the Washington Post: ‘Our job as a parent is to put ourselves out of a job.
‘We need to know that our children have the wherewithal to get up in the morning and take care of themselves.’
I love Stanford, but now I love it even MORE! This lady is absolutely right! Parents Stop HOVERING like helicopters over your children. I agree TOTALLY with Lythcott-Haims – ‘Our job is to put ourselves out of a job’. Yes we will always be their parent, but unlike the government, we do NOT want our children being dependent upon us. It’s our job to provide ongoing opportunities for our children to learn, grow and to become more and more independent! So that when they become young adults they will be educated, empowered, and have the skills and experience necessary to make decisions for themselves. Will they make mistakes? Yes! Will we be there for them when they do? Yes – absolutely! Our kids learn more from their OWN decisions and mistakes, than from OUR decisions that we make FOR them. Give your kids advice and guidance, and provide them with plenty of opportunities to practice skills along the way to becoming an adult. I think in the end, YOU will be surprised at the results!
Written by Nancy Hayes
Follow on Twitter: @bodybynance