HOW TO RAISE AN ADULT by Julie Lythcott-Haims


Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success
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Why helicopter parents are doing more harm than good to their children.

Beginning with their earliest moments, parents are in control of their children’s lives, and most strive to provide a safe, nourishing environment fostering growth and prosperity. However, many parents have taken the need to be involved in every aspect of their child’s social and academic environments to an unhealthy extreme. Using thorough research and interviews with teachers, university personnel, and employers, Lythcott-Haims examines how this need to participate on the part of the adult has actually crippled the child, hindering even college-age students from making sound and logical decisions on their own. In her easy-to-read prose, the author relates scenarios of parents calling their children in college to make sure they’ve done their homework, studied for a test, or even something as simple as eaten breakfast. This almost nightmarish overzealousness on the parts of the parents to coordinate and micromanage every daily activity has had increasingly detrimental effects on today’s group of children, young adults, and those in their 20s, leading to increased anxiety, drug and alcohol use, self-harming, and even suicide. Lythcott-Haims also skillfully addresses the added stress this creates for the parents, who through the best of intentions have unwittingly created superdependent miniadults incapable of functioning on their own on many levels. The author does a superb job of laying out the facts, pinpointing the specific areas and age levels where parents should step back and advising them on how to regain control of their own lives, even if that means their children might fail at something. Her advice is sound and obviously much needed by many if parents want to raise productive adults.

Well-presented, solid facts that address the many detriments of helicopter parenting.

Pub Date: June 9th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-62779-177-9
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2015