Howell, Livingston County 48855

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Parenting to Raise Successful Adults

July 29, 2018


Overparenting (The new term for helicopter parenting) is still a 'thing', and it seems to be getting worse. "Kids are anxious, afraid and risk-averse because parents are more focused on keeping their children safe, content and happy in the moment than on parenting for competence. Furthermore, we as a society [are] so obsessed with learning as a product — grades, scores and other evidence of academic and athletic success — that we have sacrificed learning in favor of these false idols."


My brother is a college professor. Parents are calling him to complain about their child's grades. "He was really tired this weekend, can he take the exam again?" "I (mother) wasn't available this weekend to proofread her paper, can she get an extension?" "My child is really stressed and upset due to the amount of homework. Don't you think you are assigning too much?" These are actual phone calls or emails he has received! For adult students! 


I have spoken to many parents about this topic and what I keep hearing is that 1) if they stop overparenting, their child will be at a disadvantage compared to the other children, and 2) denial that it's a real problem. "I'm just going to help with this one thing because it's too important for him/her to mess up."


Is the momentary goal of your child's immediate success worth the sacrifice of their sense of confidence and their ability to function independently as adults in the long-term?


Folks, how many of you have suffered (or gained) from your high school experiences? Or your middle school academic and sports achievements? Did getting into the 'right' college really (be honest) influence your life and career so much that you would be a failure otherwise?


Learning how to be an adult is progressive skill. You have to learn how to be an adult over time. It's a skill that needs to be practiced, first with small decisions and then with progressively larger and more important decisions. How can you expect your child to learn to think long-term if you are modeling short-term goal oriented behavior?


I know, it's terrifying. I get that. But are your fears based on reality, or a series of 'what-ifs'? If you recognize you are caught in this hamster wheel and want to get off, but don't know how - give me a call. 



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