Reblogged from NPR
Have you ever done your children’s homework for them? Have you driven to school to drop off an assignment that they forgot? Have you done a college student’s laundry? What about coming along to Junior’s first job interview?
These examples are drawn from two new books — How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims and The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey. Both are by women writing from their experience as parents and as educators. Lahey is a middle school teacher and a writer for The New York Times and The Atlantic; Lythcott-Haims was the longtime freshman dean at Stanford.
The books make strikingly similar claims about today’s youth and their parents: Parents are “too worried about [their children’s] future achievements to allow [them] to work through the obstacles in their path” (Lahey) and “students who seemed increasingly reliant on their parents in ways that felt, simply, off” (Lythcott-Haims).
I asked them to join me for a conversation about the problem — and what parents and schools can do about it.
What is the core of what’s happening with kids and parents today?
Lahey: After three years of research and a lot of soul-searching, here’s where I’ve ended up: Kids are anxious, afraid and risk-averse because parents are more focused on keeping their children safe, content and happy in the moment than on parenting for competence. Furthermore, we as a society so obsessed with learning as a product — grades, scores and other evidence of academic and athletic success — that we have sacrificed learning in favor of these false idols. Read more>>