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Avoiding the Overparenting Trap

We’re all about useful soundbites, especially when they make us smarter and better.

Today’s compact dose of wisdom reminds us of the pitfalls of overparenting. The advice comes from former Stanford dean Julie Lythcott-Haims, who wrote a best-selling book on the subject called How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success.

Lythcott-Haims was motivated to write the book after years of counseling countless Stanford undergraduates who were surprisingly over reliant on their parents. As she puts it, “Too many of us do some combination of overdirecting, overprotecting or over-involving ourselves in our kids’ lives. We treat our kids like rare and precious botanical specimens and provide a deliberate, measured amount of care and feeding while running interference on all that might toughen and weather them.”

Her advice for what she calls concierge parents?

– Give teachers a break, and remember that school is for kids.

– Stop obsessively monitoring grades.

– Impose chores, even when it’s easier to do them yourself.

– Quit fixating on the “best” colleges.

– Get a life (or make sure you have one of your own).

For more on the topic, check out this article here, or her brilliant book here.


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