I’ve received a free copy of How To Raise An Adult
Have you ever compared your childhood with the way your child is growing? I remember spending a lot of time outside, yet my own kids spend most of the time indoors with the gaming stations and handheld devices. I remember having a life outside of school, but it seems like the only life the kids have today revolved around school with insane amount of homework. The book “How to Raise an Adult” by Julie Lythcott-Haims discusses the many obstacles we face as parents, some things we do to our kids for no good reason, and how it affects the society as a whole.
The Time Have Changed
The “outside” used to be safe. A kid could roam around for hours and the parents knew – he will be home when he gets hungry. This day and age, most of the time the kids have to stay at our eyesight at all times. The stranger-danger surrounds us and local government dictates when it is “OK” to allow our kids to stay home on their own (as old as 14 in a state of Illinois).
Do We Hover?
This book is written by Julie Lythcott-Haims, who, as the Dean of Freshmen at the Stanford for twenty years, observed how the generation has changed from being independent young adults to becoming big kids followed by their parents anywhere they go, with a number of of parents living on campus to make sure kids study and eat well.
Are you a Helicopter Parent?
To be honest, this book made me slightly depressed, as two thirds of it draws a grim picture of how the parenting style has changed for worse over the years. It doesn’t take much to become a helicopter parent from the author’s standpoin:
- Are you involved in your child’s life on a daily basis?
- Do you check his/her homework every day?
- Have you at least once gone back home to grab her/his lunch to hand-deliver it to school, because your kid forgot it?
- Do you work hard to make sure your son or daughter get a very good at some sports to get a scholarship?
- Do you tutor to improve your child’s chances of getting into a good college?
- Is your child’s tuition fund bigger than your retirement fund?
Congratulations, you are a helicopter parent!
Is there a solution?
While some things are out of our control – the state laws mandate us not leave a child alone home until the age of 14 (if you live in Illinois) and School PTA is quite insistent we help out at the bake sale, fundraiser, and signature collection, there are a few steps we can take to make sure our children grow up to be responsible adults. It might be different for every reader, but you have to start somewhere to make sure our kids learn to think for themselves rather than waiting for us to chew the solution for them.
Are we really that bad?
Nobody likes being stuck behind the school bus as it stops every couple minutes to pick up passengers, but here I was just turned around the corner and push the breaks. The school bus is sitting by the curb with the STOP sign open. Right across the street I saw a woman patiently holding a school backpack. Thirty second later, a boy in his early teens, showed up in the driveway, grabbed his backpack, and hopped onto the bus. Traffic? What traffic? It’s just a usual Friday.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.