Check out this new book by former Freshman Dean at Stanford, Julie Lythcott-Haims:
How to Raise and Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare your Kid for Success
The first two sections of the book examine the phenomenon of helicopter parenting (over-parenting) and the third charts “another way,” in which I found many thoughtful ideas and suggestions.
After her 10 years experience working with Stanford students, extensive research, and considerable reflection, Lythcott-Haims proposes an alternative parenting method. Here are her main points, each of which is developed in a separate chapter:
Give them unstructured time--this, of course, needs to start early, before elementary school.)
Teach life skills--Lythcott-Haims lists and explains skills important for different developmental stages.)
Teach them how to think--she gives possible scripts for initiating conversations at dinner and other situations.
Prepare them for hard work--this very valuable chapter details the benefits of assigning chores.)
Let them chart their own path--how to remove the “scaffolding” to empower kids to become independent young adults.
Normalize struggle--Let your children fail—and learn from it.
Have a wider mind-set about colleges--Lythcott-Haims discusses how to look beyond brand new schools to find an excellent education.
Listen to them--this goes without saying. . .
*Also, on the same topic, see my earlier blog post on “life skills” essential for college (College Readiness: Beyond the high school transcript).
This book may be the start of a critical conversation about how parents (myself included) can learn to empower rather than enable our kids. Happy reading!