A provocative manifesto exposing the harms of helicopter parenting and defining an alternate philosophy for raising children and teens into self-sufficient young adults.
The Bottom Line
Helicopter parenting is harming our children. The solution is to hover less and help more.
As the dean of freshmen at Stanford University, Julie Lythcott-Haims got an up-close look at how 18- to 22-year-olds function (and malfunction) after they leave home for the first time. She witnessed real-life examples of the ways overparenting can hinder young adults’ chances for success, even when it’s done with the best of intentions.
During her 10-plus years at Stanford, Lythcott-Haims noticed parents taking on a larger presence on campus, both figuratively and literally. They were increasingly seeking out opportunities for their children, making decisions for them and monitoring their activities — and by doing so, they were preventing their kids from becoming fully independent.
Meanwhile, the author was raising her own two children in Silicon Valley, which she describes as “energetic a hive of overparenting as you are likely to find on the planet,” and saw firsthand how easy it is to fall into the trap of overparenting. Against this background, Lythcott-Haims set off on a mission to understand overparenting, its far-reaching consequences and the best ways for parents to avoid the trap and raise self-sufficient young adults. Drawing on research, conversations with admissions officers, teachers and employers, and on her own insights as a mother and student dean, she exposes the many ways in which overparenting harms children, their parents and society at large.
II. Parenting From Fear
III. Competition and the Overinvolved Parent
IV. Raising Children to Be Independent
V. Too Much Parenting Is Bad for Parents
VI. Life Skills 101
VII. The Gift of Resilience
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