I was asked to comment on an article called "What a Stanford Dean Says Parents are Doing That’s Ruining Their Kids"
Helicopter parenting says a lot more about the pilot of the machine than it does about your children. Whenever I speak to parents who are constantly "worrying"about how their children are doing academically and socially , I observe an adult desperately trying to: A. Rewrite there own life experiences or B. Using their role as a parent to fill their own needs in finding significance in their own lives - "Living through there children"
Take one week to just observe the people who you admire as successful functioning adults. Most, if not all will have learned one fundamental lesson as a child - Emotional resilience in the face of failure, in whatever form it manifests itself.
A low grade
Not invited to the party
Not chosen for the team
Not part of the IN crowd
Learning to manage failure is a key life skill that keeps your kids SAFE!
When they run or fly away from your nest, the world will most certainly be at times harsh and cruel. The kids that don't know what to do with those tremulous emotions when the going gets tough are AT RISK. Those are the kids that could develop mental health issues, become emotionally unbalanced and either withdraw or lose a sense of self. These are the kids that withdraw and find emotional solace from a computer screen or....take risks with sex, drugs and alcohol to dampen the fear of their negative feelings.
Teaching your children to love themselves and have empathy for themselves when the going gets tough is ....in my opinion the single most important life skill you can develop with and for them if you seek to have emotionally intelligent children who can function as adults in an ever demanding, changing world .
Letting them fail may seem counter-intuitive to the job description of being a parent. It hurts like hell to stand by and literally watch it happen. But a meltdown at 5 years because the world isn't fair, guided by a parent who acknowledges the pain and explains the solution, is finding a different way to think, see and learn about FEELINGS.
Those are the parents who are teaching emotional resilience.
Diverting the pain with presents, redirect blame and excuses will be storing up a whole bag of rats for their child in adolescence and young adulthood.
It's not easy being a parent, I know only too well . I share my learning not because as parents we got it all right. Quite the contrary. We learned from some significant mistakes and misplaced understanding of unconditional love.
So before you go climbing into the cockpit of your Helicopter.......check the map!
Where exactly are you going and what kind of young adult will be at the end of this journey .