A guide to stopping the helicoptering, lawn-mowing, and overindulging that can lead to entitled, self-centered thinking in children.
Everybody knows one or is one: the helicopter parent, always hovering around the children, making sure nothing bad happens; and the lawn mower parent, charging into the principal's office to "mow down" the drama teacher that cast their child in a mere supporting role. Not to mention the “fiddle,” as in "played like a," when the child knows just when to turn on the whining or the tears. For decades, parents have heard about the crucial importance of a child's self-esteem, but Today parenting contributor McCready (If I Have to Tell You One More Time…: The Revolutionary Program that Gets Your Kids To Listen Without Nagging, Reminding, or Yelling, 2011), founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, argues that we are overindulging our kids by never saying never. In overprotecting them, we do them a disservice, denying them the chance to learn the valuable lessons that risk and losing can teach. When we effusively praise every utterance, every mundane task not bungled completely, we teach them that a minimum of effort should be required for success. McCready shares the simple truths about these overparenting mistakes in a clear, nonjudgmental way, and she shows how to shift the focus to a child's effort, how to motivate change, and how to work with consequences that teach a lesson. Ranging from the different approaches regarding allowances to social media and technology guidelines to a comprehensive guide to chores, the author packs in a remarkable wealth of information. She acknowledges the strengths of a parent who wants the best for their children while hearing different views on “what’s best” from the culture, from extended family, and from “what the best friend’s parents are doing.” McCready sorts out the sensible from the nonsense.
Given the competing noise about parenting, this book should be required reading for parents.