Parenting Today – Over-parenting

Parenting Today 

“Parenting Today” is the response to articles and other writings on the Internet or in books that could have an impact on your parenting. This is a chance for us all to think about how the thousands of parenting ideas from this site over the years actually apply to real situations.

Today’s post is inspired by the TED.COM September 17, 2016 Talk of the Week by Julie Lythcott-Haims, former Dean at Stanford University. (

10 Ways We Over-parent

  1. Protecting our kids from every hurt, disappointment, and frustration;
  2. Preventing our kids at every turn from going down any path that frightens us; Hovering over every move our kids make;
  3. Controlling every moment of our kids’ lives;
  4. Steering our kids into a future that is ours rather than theirs;
  5. Expecting perfection from our kids;
  6. Arguing with our kids’ employers, teachers, and coaches about how perfect our kids are:
  7. Acting like our kids’ secretaries;
  8. Managing our kids as though we are their professional handlers;
  9. Thinking that everything our kids do, in and out of school, will make or break the future we have in mind for them – a future that usually means getting into a certain college to prepare for a certain career; and
  10. Excusing our kids from doing chores or from even getting enough sleep, so they can check off all the boxes we think they need to have checked to get onto our imagined path to college and career.

What to do instead of over-parenting

(according to an important study about successful adults)
  1. Have your child do chores – which help children develop a work ethic
  2. Make sure your children know they are loved for just being who they are (not just for successfully checking those college and career boxes) – which helps children learn to care for others (because when you love yourself, you can love others) and take responsibility for pursuing the common good.

What type of adult do you want to raise?

A.  One who graduates from the college you have in mind and is in the career you want for him?

B.  One who is happy and successful because he knows how to roll up his sleeves and get work done, loves himself, and cares for others?

 Please use the  comments section to tell us which choice you think is best for your child, “A” or “B.”

For learning more about your children and yourself as a parent:



HOW TO RAISE AN ADULT, Julie Lythcott-Haims

For more posts about over-parenting: search “overindulgence” under What Can We Help With? (column on the right).

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