Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Newsflash: Doing your kids homework will never get them into a good school. If you buy their way in, they will fail anyway. Side note: Because these kids come in lacking in any self sufficiently, yet are pressured to do well by their parents, more than 30% load up on the Adderal. Just letting you know. Many of them become extremely depressed because they know they had every advantage and are still failing. "Lurking beneath of whatever thing needs to be handled is the student's inability to differentiate the self from the parent." These kids can't problem solve, cope with minor setbacks, don't know what makes them happy and rarely know who they are.
I understand some parents do this to "protect" their kids and some others do this as an ego-extension of themselves. The bragging! And now social bragging. Endless. How much can we as a society tolerate? I don't care that your daughter won the gymnastic nationals, or she's doing print modeling in between piano recitals, or that your son has a 4.9 but working toward a perfect 5! I still don't respect you as a parent because your kid is miserable.
I've written about this before but this is great article by an ex-Stanford dean who witnessed first hand the overprotected kids that enter college only to fall apart. Read here. I see it all around me, and we see this in the media, flooded with pictures of celebrities and their over-indulged kids who will never understand what it feels like to actually earn something. Then these same parents are surprised when the kids flail at school, away from mom, dad, tutors, assistants, and so on.
Clearly I am against any of this hyper-parenting. I know where it comes from ("I wasn't really parented by my hippy-dippy mom and I will give Chuckles everything I never got") and also have seen where it goes ("Mom, tell me again how to work a subway because the cabs are ignoring me. I feel so rejected. Can you fly out here?")
I've been parenting for a while, and I suppose I'm what you call a "let them break an arm" parent. I told my daughters as much when they were age three:
"Girls, you need to understand I will not be a typical mother. In fact, consider me an aunt. You'll have to figure things out on your own." Guess what, they did. They're independent but also compassionate. They have weird hobbies like reptile collecting. They seem to find outlets for all of their various interests. My house is messy, but there you have it.
They have zero interest in my opinion on most matters, they trust their own. They wouldn't dream of me ever helping them with homework.
"Honey, do you need help with that math that makes zero sense to me? I can switch you back to old school in no time."
"How about never!"
They laugh. They run circles around me. They steal my phone and make movies. They think I'm lame. And I happen to think that's healthy. But we also all adore each other, we bake, shop, go on adventurous hikes, look for wild animals in hiding, snare stray cats, surf, (well they do) and Apples to Apples somehow never gets old.
Why on earth would parents NOT want their kids to learn from their mistakes, get disappointed, cry, bawl their eyes out, and learn to get over it; stumble, fall and be okay? To experience life? It's called balance and the kids will be fine. Let them get a damn D! Take the training wheels off before they are 12. How old is this kid?
In this in-between place, I never have to worry whether or not my kids are spoiled, over-pampered, lacking in confidence, or incapable of taking care of themselves. What I get in return is a life. Everybody wins.
It will be curious to see what happens to this next crop of extremely over- indulged kids. This is the generation following the ones already out there.
In my opinion one of the most loving things you can do for your children is let them grow up.
Rhonda Talbot on helicopter parenting insanity, parenthood, millennials, raising kids, college, independence.