Teaching Independence Without Helicopter Parenting | Psych in 60

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Teaching Independence Without Helicopter Parenting

Julie Lythcott Haims, former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford University, wrote a book about the perils of helicopter parenting called “How to Raise an Adult“.

To summarize, she and her colleagues at other colleges were finding students with book smarts, but not independent life skills.

Imagine going to college and not knowing how to do things for yourself, like the laundry. Well, how can you do laundry if it has always been done for you?

In our desire to help our children, we are actually preventing them from learning to be independent.

Of course, children need to be taught these skills first. But parents have to find that line between when to do for your child, and when the child is capable of doing it on their own.

Teaching independence can start long before going off to college!

For example, let’s say your child is unhappy with their seat assignment at school. Don’t call the teacher yourself, help your child write down their concerns and have them share it with the teacher.

Help build their confidence in their own problem-solving skills and decrease their reliance on you. When you see they can do it, you know its time to let them and for you to take a step back.

For more parenting tips, check out other videos in our Psych in 60 series. Leave your questions for Dr. Terri James in the comments below!

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