Plugged In: Helicopter parenting ‘ruining a generation of children’

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Your intentions might be good. But if you’re too involved in your child’s life, you might be preventing them from becoming free-thinking, independent adults.

That’s the opinion of Julie Lythcott-Haims. She spent a decade as a dean of freshmen at Stanford University. According to the Chicago Tribune, she witnessed students — who on paper appeared to be smart and accomplished — that were incapable of taking care of themselves.

*Click here to read more from the Chicago Tribune

She blames parents who are too involved in their children’s lives.

Lythcott-Haims is the author of “How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success.”

She is one of several writers who are urging stressed-out helicopter parents to “breathe and loosen their grip on their children.”

“Our job as a parent is to put ourselves out of a job,” she said. “We need to know that our children have the wherewithal to get up in the morning and take care of themselves.”

Lythcott-Haims has a simple test to determine if you are a helicopter parent:

  1. Check your language. “If you say ‘we’ when you mean your son or your daughter – as in, ‘We’re on the travel soccer team’ – it’s a hint to yourself that youa re intertwined in a way that is unhealthy,” Lythcott-Haims said.
  2. Examine your interactions with adults in your child’s life. “If you’re arguing with teachers and principals and coaches and umpires all the time, it’s a sign you’re a little too invested,” she said. “When we’re doing all the arguing, we are not teaching our kids to advocate for themselves.”
  3. Stop doing their homework.

Are you a helicopter parent? Do you feel like you are raising your kids to be able to take care of themselves? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think. Stacey Frey might read your comments during Plugged In from 6:30 – 9 a.m.

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