Why young adults are not ready for adulthood and what parents can do to help prepare them.
Political unrest, rapid technological advances, massive shifts in demographics, and climate change: These and many other factors mean that we live in remarkably unpredictable times, which has caused significant spikes in anxiety for both parents and teens. In her latest book, clinician and consultant Levine (Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success, 2012, etc.) shows parents how to address these concerns so that their children can have a “hopeful future they will both inherit and invent.” Because parents feel immense pressure to ensure a stable future for their child—good education, reliable employment, etc.—they often do too much, micromanaging every moment of their child’s life, which usually hinders the child’s ability to learn, experiment, and function on their own. “If our children are to thrive in a world that is rapidly evolving and full of uncertainty, they need less structure and more play,” writes the author. “They need to become comfortable with experimentation, risk-taking, and trial-and-error learning. Shielding them from failure is counterproductive. Our kids need to spend less time burnishing their resumes and more time exploring and reflecting.” Bolstering her arguments with research statistics and case studies, Levine offers readers a concrete review of what is working and, more importantly, what is not working for parents and young adults. She analyzes the paralyzing effects of excessive stress and depression, suggests age-appropriate responsibilities for children as young as toddlers (put toys away, for example), and encourages parents to step back and try to refrain from engaging in helicopter parenting. Despite the author’s conversational tone, she imparts a strong and convincing message: Parents must let their children develop their independence in order to greet their futures with confidence and the skills necessary to survive.
Rock-solid advice for harried parents in a world that shows no signs of slowing down.