Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles When a child is learning to walk, that's the last time we allow ourselves to be overjoyed by the fact that they're trying and failing and trying again. Of course, it's hard to see them fall, but somehow, we know that this is an essential task for them to practice, practice, practice, and ultimately, perfect. Well, somehow, we've forgotten that every single other skill in life is acquired the same way. While I was Dean of Freshmen at Stanford University, we began referring to college students as "kids" or "children". And those terms would have...not been used in prior decades. Too many students seemed to be lacking agency in their own lives, and I thought, this is not good for them, and it's not good for all of us at a societal level either. Initially, helicopter parenting appears to work. As a kid, you're kept safe, you're given direction, you might get a better grade, 'cause that parent is arguing with the teacher. But we parents we end up getting in our kid's way. We deprive the kid of the chance to show up in their own lives, take responsibility for things, be accountable for outcomes. What we've got to do is teach our kids all of these things, whether it's cross the street, or make a meal on the stove, or remember to put your belongings in your backpack. There's a 4-step method for teaching kids skills. Step one: you do it for them. Step two: you do it with them. Step three: you watch them do it. Step four: they can do it independently. If we don't do this, we will have among us a young adult population that doesn't know how to "hashtag adult". It becomes a community problem. It becomes a crisis in leadership. You have to ask who's gonna to run the schools? Who's gonna to run our nonprofits? Who's gonna to run the government? Who's gonna to lead our families? Kids have to be able to make their own mistakes growing up. Life is about having confidence that if you took the wrong path, you can get on the right path. That if you fall down, you can get back up. You know, the moment they learn to walk, they're walking away from us. And it feels terrifying, but as paradoxical as it may sound, our job as parents is... like it or not, to put ourselves out of a job.