June 25, 2011
This week, I saw a great article and video on parenting. They discuss a trend that experts worry is harming children: over-zealous and over-protective parenting.
The article and video suggest that many parents are trying to protect their children from any unhappiness today, which makes the children less capable in the future as adults.
So here is the word of encouragement. If you are sending your child to camp, you are already taking huge strides in the other direction. You are providing an experience that will provide independence, resilience and confidence. Every day at camp is not perfect. Every moment is not a happy one. When a cabin is working through a personality conflict, that is not fun, but it provides the campers with the knowledge that such circumstances can be survived and resolved. Overcoming a fear of heights can be uncomfortable, but doing so lets the camper know that other challenges can also be overcome.
Just the last two days, we have been watching campers take on the Lake Swim (and the Kilometer Swims). Many dreaded the challenge, but all left feeling elevated and more sure of their own personal strength.
So, here’s to you! Some of your friends might be unwilling to let their child have an experience like camp. I, however, know that your children with adapt to challenges (including college) more readily and confidently than most of those who have been sheltered from adversity and challenge.
Here is the article from June 20:
Intervention time! Do you need Parents Anonymous?
Wendy Mogel, author of “The Blessing of a Skinned Knee” and “The Blessing of a B-minus,” joined TODAY to talk about how to bring helicopter parents in for a landing. Here, she shares her “12-step program” for parent who do way, way too much for their kids.
By Wendy Mogel
I’ve seen increasing numbers of devoted, loving, highly intelligent parents treating perfectly capable children like handicapped royalty. These good-intentioned parents overprotect, overindulge, overschedule and over-tutor their children. What’s the downside? More and more kids suffering from entitlement, anxiety and low motivation.
Understanding how hard it is to resist what everyone else is doing – the new normal of parenting - I’ve created a 12-step program for parents in need… Parents Anonymous.
1. Resist taking the role of butler, sherpa, concierge, talent agent or the secret police - parents lead best by example.
2. Don’t mistake a snapshot for the epic movie of your child’s life. Kids go through phases.
3. Before you nag, criticize, praise or over-explain, remember the slogan W.A.I.T.: “why am I talking?”
4. Be alert but not automatically alarmed.
5. Don’t confuse children’s wants with their needs.
6. Remember that your child is not your masterpiece.
7. Learn to love the words “trial” and “error.” Let your child make mistakes before going off to college.
8. Don’t fix what’s not broken. Accept your child’s nature even if he’s shy, stubborn, or not great at math.
9. When your child doesn’t make the team, the school play, or the in-group, remember that this is good preparation for adult life.
10. Recognize that the grades your child receives are not the measure of your worth as a parent.
11. Emphasize ordinary chores and family citizenship along with schoolwork and extracurriculars.
12. Give your kids time to play . . . lest they try to sue you for stealing their childhoods.
Dr. Wendy Mogel is a clinical psychologist, parenting expert and the author of the New York Times bestselling parenting book, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee. Her new book, The Blessing of a B Minus, is about raising teenagers.
There is also a nice pair of videos you might enjoy watching:
One video is below the article. The other video is also dated June 20.
We are looking forward to seeing you this Saturday!