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Young people are chastised for being overly dependent and entitled, and parents get blamed for bubble wrapping their children. Is that really the case?
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It's time to maybe turn the rotors on the parenting helicopter down a notch or two.
I had only turned away for a second, but that was enough to almost seriously injure my daughter.
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More and more young people are entering the marketplace ill-equipped to function optimally at their jobs.
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When they do, the life lesson is to accept it, learn from it, learn to live with it, move on and carry it softly.
Well-intentioned but deeply detrimental parenting is leaving our young people incapable of functioning.
Helicopter parenting is what's rewarded and (legally) expected now.
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If you're a parent who finds yourself guilty of over-protecting your kids and doing too much for them, you can start repairing the situation right now.
They must, first of all, stop over-protecting and coddling their own children.
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An excess of parental smothering prevents a young person from growing up to feel confident and empowered.
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Parents are better off acting as authority figures and not their children's friends, say psychiatrist Marcia Sirota.
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If parents and schools make it too easy for young people to shirk their work, it's unlikely that these youth will ever be willing or able to do what's necessary, in order to excel in their training or in their future jobs. If a young person has had helicopter parenting and/or has graduated from a college that coddled them, how can they overcome these disadvantages and achieve success in the workplace? It's simple, if not easy. They have to learn the attitudes and skills that will make it possible for them to succeed.
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Helicopter parents think that they're doing what's best for their kids but actually, they're hurting their kids' chances at success. In particular, they're ruining their kids' chances of landing a job and keeping it.
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Parents teach this behaviour. They teach their children that by feigning inability they can get things done for them. Sadly, after enough time the question arises as to whether these children are feigning inability or actually lack the tools to accomplish the tasks being asked of them.
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"Put away your cowbells. They don't belong in the arena."
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"Children need to be occupied, they need structure, they need predictability," the experts tell us. Heaven help you if you don't make sure to keep those sticky little hands busy between late June and Labour Day every year. After all, children need structure right? No they don't.
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They should be able to confidently navigate independent situations. Being able to ask other adults for help, ordering fries from a fast food counter, helping a younger child at the playground, figuring out their own boundaries -- this all takes practice.
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"Careful" is a helicopter parent's mantra. These kids have grown up in the shadows of fear, always too afraid to take risks, too cautious to make sound decisions alone and too callous to stand up for themselves as they have never had to. In their childhood their parents made all their decisions and as young adults they have no clue how to fend for themselves.
Let kids fail young -- while they are still in their beta phase, adaptable and resilient. Let them struggle with a math problem. Let them audition for the lead role when you know they're likely to be cast as an understudy. Let them make mistakes that will build self-care and even empathy.
We are doing a huge disservice to our kids. We are raising a generation of children who are going to be incapable of succeeding in the modern era. They are being taught to be egocentric and to give up, often before even trying.
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What normal parent would be insanely jealous of their own child?! I never expected it and I certainly didn't want it. But there it was: jealousy. As plain as the nose on my face. It all started just after puberty. I was fourteen when Mom first accused me of trying to "be cute" for my own father. Need I add that it wasn't true? But your Mommy is always right, isn't she?
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Yes, you read that right.
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I have had a few daycare kids whose parents did not teach them how to climb stairs. Ever. The thinking was that stairs were dangerous. Of course they are dangerous. That's why, if my daycare kids have the use of their legs, they need to learn to climb them. As soon as a kid learns to walk, we head straight to the stairs.
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It all starts from the day they're born. I am proposing that, to paraphrase any person from England, you start the way you mean to go on. Let them take over your night's sleep for longer than a year? Hmmmm. Jeopardize every social plan you try to commit to? Not good.
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Who hasn't gone through playground drama, right? What I didn't realize is how this situation was making daughter feel low about herself and her ability to handle her emotions on the playground. I think like most parents I wasn't sure how much to ask her about stress. Culturally, many of us grew up with more conversations about academics and marks than conversations about feelings and stress.
Overparenting, over-managing, over-involved. This is how we would describe our generation of parents. It comes from a good place of course -- we love them and want to protect them. We want them to be the best in whatever they undertake. But what are we really protecting them from?
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Every human being on earth crafts a unique set of biases based on his or her own experience -- you, me, and everybody else. We use this experience to dish out advice. But what works for one person (say, someone who loves you and wants only the best for you) might not work for you.
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Whether you're more of a bench-warmer, or a helicopter, or a free-ranger, or an anything else, how about we let the labels go and appreciate our complementary styles? Instead of getting annoyed when I see you actively play at the park, with your kids or mine, I'll think how great it is that you're enjoying your day with your lucky child.
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Developing independence is part of growing up, and it's something that young people should be encouraged to develop at every age. Safety should always be a priority for parents, but kids' maturity should also be taken into consideration as well. When you show young people that you trust them, it helps kids to trust themselves.
After six years of writing about hot topics in parenting, I have read many studies, talked to countless experts and quoted hundreds of news stories. During that time, my family has grown a collective six feet, and aged from preschoolers and kids to teens and tweens. And I want to be honest when I tell you that despite the thousands of hours I have spent reading and researching parenting, I still have no idea what the hell I am doing.
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As a mother, I have struggled with being labelled at times. Even so recently as last week, I denounced myself in conversation with my husband as being a helicopter parent, feeling defensive about my level of involvement in our children's lives. As a mom, I find myself consistently teaching, mentoring, coaching and loving our four.
Here we are now in 2014 with the pendulum having swung so far to one side that our kids are actually suffering from our over-involved parenting style. By looking back through history, we can see what works and what doesn't, but usually it's a trip down our own memory lane that can guide us best.