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Is helicopter parenting today a societal norm? by Eva Glasrud


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We are harming our kids by trying to keep them out of any harm's way: "helicopter parents doom their kids to a boring, lifeless childhood. They doom them to anxiety disorders, depression, and certain cognitive shortcomings. (Kids who don't get to play on their own grow up into engineers who are bad at sophisticated kinds of problem solving -- basically, they do really well on homework and standardized tests, but they have a very difficult time solving problems that don't have one right answer."

I agree with her. That's not good preparation for life. 

I was reading an interview recently with a VERY senior female engineer who was briefly homeless at the end of high school, due to her father's insistence that when a child turned 18 they were legally and ethically an adult with the obligation to make their own way in the world. This was not at all an uncommon attitude when I was growing up, although most parents were not as hard-ass as this guy -- often the compromise was the kid could stay at home but had to start paying rent and expenses -- because not that long ago the whole point of childhood was to learn to become an independent adult. Now the point of childhood seems to be providing your parents with a talking pet.

I think her story is an extreme example of parents who do not support their kids. There should be some happy middle - when we do support our kids as necessary, but do not hover. I am not sure what is achieved when a kid has to work to survive instead of going to school, if his parents can afford it.

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