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  • 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.

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.

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Are Helicopter Parents Ruining a Generation?

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    Rachel Kung posted on 2019/02/21
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