Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How to Raise an Adult--new book vital for parents of teens. . .and younger

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!

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