How COVID-19 “Stay-At-Home” Time Can Improve Parenting Teens and Pre-Teens

It is new to many of us to have so much time at home with our teens and pre-teens. One good thing about these unusual times is that it is a good time for us to think about the danger zone of “overparenting.” It is a good time for us to work on avoiding behaviors that are so easy to fall into while in the hustle and bustle of our usual lives. The following eleven ways we overparent* are things we can work on. We can become more aware of them and work on avoiding them. Remember that changes take time. If there are things you want to change about your parenting slow and steady is best.
  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;
  3. Hovering over every move our kids make;
  4. Controlling every moment of our kids’ lives;
  5. Steering our kids into a future that is ours rather than theirs;
  6. Expecting perfection from our kids;
  7. Arguing with our kids’ employers, teachers, and coaches about how perfect our kids are:
  8. Acting like our kids’ secretaries;
  9. Managing our kids as though we are their professional handlers;
  10. 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;
  11. 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.
*From the TED.COM September 17, 2016 Talk of the Week by Julie Lythcott-Haims, former Dean at Stanford University. (


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