She theorizes that today’s parents are making themselves miserable trying to make their children happy. And, ironically, their children are less than content as a result.
The root of it, the article said, is that parents spend so much time trying to make everything perfect, no bumps in the road, that it leaves children unable to cope with hardship when they have to fend for themselves. They called the failure a type of "psychological immunity," a comparison to the way the body builds up immunity by weathering sickness.
It's an interesting take. I wonder whether parents are so focused on showing love that sometimes they mean they can't let the kid experience pain if it can be avoided. I can see the reasoning behind it, that if you can intervene before a child falls or fails then why should you not?
On the other hand, I wonder how many of the angst-ridden kids come from a helicopter style of parenting. I see this results of this parenting style in education, and I am not a fan. The effects of this (probably unseen by their parents) come in how their children react to college environments, often disempowered and unsure of their ability to think for themselves. I've often wondered whether so many of my students say they lack passion for what they want to do in life because they've never had room to explore things like that when decisions and experiences are so heavily mediated by their parents. I'm 100% convinced that helicopter parents mean well and see anything less as showing you don't care (and probably think they are not a helicopter parent), but can't help but think there needs to be a balance.
My teaching style is all about experiencing moments of success and failure. I've written before I learned more in failure than success in my professional journalism work, and in my classes I try to create room for both. In fact, I expect it will happen.
Classrooms are easier, though. They are controlled labs where I control the material, the pace, and the grading schema. I am almost certain parenting will mean the loss of control, and so how I incorporate this view of failure-is-good in everyday situations will be interesting.
I have long said that the best gift my parents gave me was my ability to be independent, to get to the point where I don't need them to guide me through every decision. I'd like to do the same for my child. I want them to know they're loved, but I also want them to learn that does mean you stop them from every little mistake in a way that takes away their own freedom to grow.
Post #6 in my 90-in-90 blog challenge. Blog with us and join the fun. I'll be blogging both here and on my professional blog for the challenge. For more about the 90/90 challenge, read about my call for participants. The blogs participating are on the list at the right, or follow us on the #LUBlogTribe hashtag on Twitter