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(NBC News)   This may come as a bit of a surprise, but not letting your child make his or her own decisions in life might not be in their best interests   (vitals.nbcnews.com) divider line 123
    More: Obvious, helicopter parenting, Middlebury College, young adult, college application, bicycle helmets, liberal arts colleges  
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7975 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 May 2013 at 11:57 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-26 09:22:53 AM  
I think parenting is really hard and I'm always skeptical of people who have never raised kids splainin' to the rest of us how were all doing it wrong.

And I have seen some really horrible parenting. Abandonment seems to be the worst. Obviously emotional, physical, and sexual abuse bring their own special brands of hell. And I have certainly seen parents be over-protective but honestly. Most of us just muddle along and try to do the best we can.
 
2013-05-26 10:21:40 AM  

quickdraw: I think parenting is really hard and I'm always skeptical of people who have never raised kids splainin' to the rest of us how were all doing it wrong.

And I have seen some really horrible parenting. Abandonment seems to be the worst. Obviously emotional, physical, and sexual abuse bring their own special brands of hell. And I have certainly seen parents be over-protective but honestly. Most of us just muddle along and try to do the best we can.


I think the key is "am I teaching my kid how  to be an independent, functional adult?" Most kids I've met are proud and happy when they know how to take care of something by themselves -- just like grownups do. This can be as simple as teaching a kid how to feed himself/herself by making a cheese sandwich.

If a kid expresses no desire to learn how to do grownup things, and wants to let Mom and Dad handle it all, there's either something wrong with that kid or something wrong with the parenting.
 
2013-05-26 11:07:30 AM  
that's some grammar in that headline subby.

"not letting you child"?
 
2013-05-26 11:18:44 AM  

quickdraw: I think parenting is really hard and I'm always skeptical of people who have never raised kids splainin' to the rest of us how were all doing it wrong.

And I have seen some really horrible parenting. Abandonment seems to be the worst. Obviously emotional, physical, and sexual abuse bring their own special brands of hell. And I have certainly seen parents be over-protective but honestly. Most of us just muddle along and try to do the best we can.


I'm sure the psychologist running the study is totally clueless about child rearing and human development. It's funny...rather than reading the article for its take away message, you honed in on the researcher being childless and decided to dismiss the message altogether.

/yes, if you never let a child or young adult learn to deal with adversity, they will have difficulty functioning when you are no longer there to solve their problems...the article doesnt suggest helicopter parents produce serial killers or anything
//sorry if this somehow challenges your style of parenting
 
2013-05-26 11:33:35 AM  
Parenting is hard, but my old hippie friend who was a single dad gave me some useful advice:

Unconditional love
Clear boundaries

I know it's very complex, but I'm not sure reading a shiat ton of books or following this or that approach is that helpful. Like our parents had any farking clue.
 
2013-05-26 11:35:39 AM  

elysive: quickdraw: I think parenting is really hard and I'm always skeptical of people who have never raised kids splainin' to the rest of us how were all doing it wrong.

And I have seen some really horrible parenting. Abandonment seems to be the worst. Obviously emotional, physical, and sexual abuse bring their own special brands of hell. And I have certainly seen parents be over-protective but honestly. Most of us just muddle along and try to do the best we can.

I'm sure the psychologist running the study is totally clueless about child rearing and human development. It's funny...rather than reading the article for its take away message, you honed in on the researcher being childless and decided to dismiss the message altogether.

/yes, if you never let a child or young adult learn to deal with adversity, they will have difficulty functioning when you are no longer there to solve their problems...the article doesnt suggest helicopter parents produce serial killers or anything
//sorry if this somehow challenges your style of parenting


I'm not sorry one bit if it does.  I think helicopter parenting should be challenged.  And letting your child fight his own battles, fail, and succeed on her own, and thereby learn basic decision making skills, is important.  Jesus - why is this so damn hard for some people to understand?  You don't need to have children to understand that psychological and social development will be negatively impacted by constant intervention that halts the stimuli requiring growth.
 
2013-05-26 11:55:03 AM  
fark it, ice cream and corn dogs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner it is.
 
2013-05-26 12:01:21 PM  
A measured approach. Let them make their own decisions within reason.

/Not a parent
 
2013-05-26 12:09:32 PM  
Article's conclusions seem pretty sensible, but I take exception to this:

"As the first generation of kids who have "helicopter parents" graduates into the world, some some studies show that the parenting style may have backfired."

Throughout the article they repeat this idea that someone in the early '90's invented the idea of puppet-handing your kids.  It may not have always been the prevalent attitude of the time, but I'm pretty sure this has always existed, especially with the privileged.
 
2013-05-26 12:09:36 PM  
Or you could tell your kid to make their own decisions, but you'll be very disappointed if they don't do what you think they should, and their life will be ruined forever.

/parents need to quit the mindfarks
 
2013-05-26 12:10:32 PM  
Yesterday we took our kids, who are 4.5 and 1.5 years old,  here.  At the center of this awesome place is a three story tall climbing complex, with tunnels, nets, slides, and small rock walls.  it is designed to offer a limited number of ingress and egress points, and different routes are designed for kids of different ages.  The signs say adult supervision is required.  There are stairs and balconies around the outside for parents to watch as their kids make their way up through the structure.  Parents are also not prohibited from climbing through these kid-sized passages to watch their kids from a couple feet away, lift them up through some of the 'tougher' obstacles.   Why do I mention all this?

Because this setup provided a litmus test for parenting style, as well as for kids being raised under what I'll call either invasive or non-invasive parenting styles.  The kids who were sent in alone by their parents (presumably with confirmation Mom / Dad would be waiting at the exit and watching from some place en route) approached the obstacles in the structure in a different way from those who had Mommy or Daddy trailing them.  They seemed to problem-solve better on the obstacles, move through faster, and on the whole have more fun (however that is quantified) than the kids who had their parents hovering next to them.

FWIW.
 
2013-05-26 12:12:35 PM  
When I managed a restaurant, all of our high-school and college-aged applicants were told the same thing: If I meet one or both of your parents and it's not because they're customers, you're fired.  Only had to do that three or four times and it was always with employees who couldn't handle the responsibility of, for example, showing up to work on Mother's Day.  It saved me so much stress.
 
2013-05-26 12:13:59 PM  
"We are extremely overprotective and overbearing," says mom C. Lee Reed, 42, an executive assistant at a large orthopedic practice. "I know at every second where she is and who she's with. I will monitor every bit of technology. She knows the rule is we know every password."

Adds Khris Reed, 41, a general manager for a local auto parts store: "When people say 'helicopter parent' or 'helicopter mom,' in general, it's the idea of the mom standing in the bushes with binoculars. The far extreme has put a bad rap on it."


Okay then. >.> I don't know, parents not being engaged/communicating with their children is just as bad in my opinion. My parents let me do whatever the hell I wanted, only they never challenged me to do more with me life. Or encouraged me to do anything. As a result I'm just figuring all that out now. Which is annoying, but eh.
 
2013-05-26 12:15:40 PM  
I'm 41 and was an only child to four parents for most of my life. Always surrounded by adults. Not many friends. I have pretty bad coping skills. I'm not that successful. But they sure do love me. I know I could have done more. But, I had most problems taken care of by them. That held me back. That, and my own laziness. And unwillingness to work hard. I never had to before.
 
2013-05-26 12:18:56 PM  

quickdraw: I think parenting is really hard and I'm always skeptical of people who have never raised kids splainin' to the rest of us how were all doing it wrong.

And I have seen some really horrible parenting. Abandonment seems to be the worst. Obviously emotional, physical, and sexual abuse bring their own special brands of hell. And I have certainly seen parents be over-protective but honestly. Most of us just muddle along and try to do the best we can.


Years ago I read an article about helicopter parents and one example was of an RA at some big school who caught a student with a microwave in her dorm room, which was not allowed.  So, the RA confiscated it and put it in a store room until the girl could arrange for it to be brought home.  And what did the girl do?  She called her mom, and mom then drove an hour down to the school not to pick up the microwave but to tell the RA that her daughter should have the microwave, regardless of the fact that microwaves were not allowed in the dorm rooms.  Now, I do not have any kids but even I know that this is an example of over protective and bad parenting.  The student is now supposedly an adult now and needs to learn how to handle these situations on her own.  A good parent would have told their daughter that she knew it was against the rules and should not have purchased a microwave in the first place and then told her to bring it with her the next time she came home.  The article was full of similar stories of students who whenever they ran afoul of the rules would instead of facing the consequences on their own would call their parents who would then swoop down upon the school in a righteous fury.  Now obviously not every student nor parent behaves this way, but more and more do.  It does not require someone to be a parent to be able to see that those parents had failed at properly preparing their children for life on their own.
 
2013-05-26 12:21:24 PM  
confused by the double-negative in the headline: does subby think helicopter-parenting is good or bad?
 
2013-05-26 12:21:42 PM  
The flip side of letting kids make their own decisions is not charging or jailing parents for neglect every time little Johnny Snowflake bumps his head.

Parents have to let their kids go out into the world unsupervised. Some children will come home safe and some won't. We have to accept this and not make parents into criminals for doing their job.
 
2013-05-26 12:22:08 PM  
Hmmm... not sure how giving advice could be considered inappropriate.  Can anyone offer a situation where this would be helicopter parenting?
 
2013-05-26 12:22:17 PM  

quickdraw: I think parenting is really hard and I'm always skeptical of people who have never raised kids splainin' to the rest of us how were all doing it wrong.



Spare us your preemptive sanctimonious chiding. It's not like the rest of us aren't the product of parenting ourselves.
 
2013-05-26 12:27:21 PM  
Or you could be childfree and not have these problems.
 
2013-05-26 12:27:40 PM  
What is the helicopter style a reaction to?  Everyone my age (31) spent their summers roaming the neighborhood and intends to let their kids do the same.

Is it just the fear mongering by news organizations or was there a generation of parents who were so neglectful that people about 10-20 years older than me decided to go all marsupial and keep their kids safe in the pouch, so to speak?
 
2013-05-26 12:28:16 PM  

calbert: that's some grammar in that headline subby.

"not letting you child"?


That's one of my favorite typos. I also seem to like -ion eg , ratios into rations.

/csb, not subby
 
2013-05-26 12:29:44 PM  

gnosis301: Hmmm... not sure how giving advice could be considered inappropriate.  Can anyone offer a situation where this would be helicopter parenting?


Probably like my previous comment. If you're going to let your child decide for themselves, then don't try and manipulate them into choosing the option you think is best. It completely defies the point. Maybe suggest something, but just leave it at that, and don't try and discourage them from anything else.
 
2013-05-26 12:30:00 PM  

quickdraw: I think parenting is really hard and I'm always skeptical of people who have never raised kids splainin' to the rest of us how were all doing it wrong.

And I have seen some really horrible parenting. Abandonment seems to be the worst. Obviously emotional, physical, and sexual abuse bring their own special brands of hell. And I have certainly seen parents be over-protective but honestly. Most of us just muddle along and try to do the best we can.


well if your kid's an a**hole and annoys me where do I place the blame?

..as opposed to really well behaved children who are pleasant to be around.

/Jesus riding on a dinosaur...that's where
 
2013-05-26 12:30:03 PM  

quickdraw: I think parenting is really hard...Most of us just muddle along and try to do the best we can.


You've just defined parenting.

There's no "Right" way but there are a million wrong ways.
 
2013-05-26 12:31:02 PM  

Zarquon's Flat Tire: What is the helicopter style a reaction to?  Everyone my age (31) spent their summers roaming the neighborhood and intends to let their kids do the same.

Is it just the fear mongering by news organizations or was there a generation of parents who were so neglectful that people about 10-20 years older than me decided to go all marsupial and keep their kids safe in the pouch, so to speak?


I'm 15 years older than you.  We were as free range as it got.

When I was 12, and my brother was 9, we would bike 3 miles into town with a friend or two and spend all day at the A&W, the hobby store, and the video arcade. Leave at 10:30, home at 5.  My mother loved it.
 
2013-05-26 12:32:05 PM  
You're supposed to lead your kid through life by the hand...until they don't need it anymore.

Knowing that point where you stop, that's the hard part.
 
2013-05-26 12:32:46 PM  

Britney Spear's Speculum: Or you could be childfree and not have these problems.


i758.photobucket.com
 
2013-05-26 12:34:33 PM  

20/20: confused by the double-negative in the headline: does subby think helicopter-parenting is good or bad?


I think that subby just pulled the pin on a grenade and tossed it, to set up this thread.  Father, here.  You need to cut them enough slack, so that they can learn from mistakes.

And be ready to take to pick them up from the juvenile detention center after arrest by Sheriff's Deputies, after they've located *that* boundary.
 
2013-05-26 12:34:54 PM  
As a college professor, I can say that any parent who called me about their child's grade would experience a very brief conversation: "Your child is an adult. I need written authorization from them to talk to you. *Click.*"
 
2013-05-26 12:37:37 PM  
Articles like this make me glad I grew up in the 1970s and 80s.  As a kid my parents let me live certain aspects of my life on my own.  I could go outside to play and only had to tell my mom the general area where I was going, be it next door to Steve's house, out in the neighborhood of our block, or the next block over, the football field, the park, or the stream just outside of town.  When I was younger I was limited to playing with my neighbor and as I grew older I was allowed to roam further afield.  Mom (and Dad) trusted us to go off on our own.  Even at age 12 I was often traveling a couple miles away on my bike to visit a huge park full of lots of trails and ponds.  When I was in high school it was pretty much, "I am going out with Don and Jason" and I was out the door with the entire city as my "playground."  I knew when I had to be home and my parents trusted me.

Now, I do understand that "the times they are a changing" and that things are different today, but parents can still allow their kids to have freedom.  Some of my childhood friends are now parents of their own and actually still live in the old neighborhood, and their kids are doing a lot of the same things that we did.  Sure, they have cell phones, but they are allowed to go exploring on their own, without having to always call home and say, "We are not at Timmy's house,"  "We are now at Steve's house," "We are now at the park."  There is no need to know where a child is every minute of the day.  As for knowing all of this girl's passwords, I wonder if they demand to read her diary (if she had one)?  At 16 the girl should be allowed some privacy in her life, and it appears she has none.  And of course this girl is going to say she is OK with it, because she has been conditioned to think that is OK.  I really would like a time machine so I could jump 6 years into the future and see how well this girl turned out after college.  I have a hunch that her parents will not be able to cut the apron strings when she goes off to school and that this girl will suffer for it.
 
2013-05-26 12:38:29 PM  
20/20: Read it slowly and out loud. It isn't a double negative.
 
2013-05-26 12:40:28 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: You don't need to have children to understand that psychological and social development will be negatively impacted by constant intervention that halts the stimuli requiring growth.


THIS THIS THIS.

/now we just need to get parents to pull their heads out of their asses when it comes to whether or not somebody else has kids
//doesn't matter if they have kids or not, if they've got better ideas about raising them than you do
 
2013-05-26 12:40:41 PM  
Kids today. Not like when I was a kid, that's for sure. Things are so completely different now with these kids, just like they have been for every other generation through history.
 
2013-05-26 12:40:42 PM  
It's not that difficult. Make the decisions that keep them out of trouble or in danger. The decisions that deal with everything else, let them have the majority opinion.
 
2013-05-26 12:41:30 PM  
All I know is that I'm going to be hording peanuts and peanut butter, and when the helicopter parents eventually get it banned altogether, I'm going to make a fortune in black market peanut sales.

Seriously, though, I've had employees-- back when I was managing-- that had their parents fight their battles for them. I was less than pleased. I hired YOU, not your mom. If your mom comes to biatch at me for you not getting enough hours again, I will write you up for insubordinate behavior. If you or your parents want to play this game, then anything your parents do will count against  you.

You don't get to have you mommy yell at me to avoid having to take responsibility for doing it yourself. If you want to yell at me, then do it and take the consequences like an adult. I have no respect for a 20-something who can't fight their own battles. Grow the f♥ck up or get out.

Gladly, I don't do that kind of work anymore. I can only imagine it's getting worse out there.
 
2013-05-26 12:41:37 PM  
Personally, I think it would be farking AWESOME if my mom had a helicopter.
But that's just me.
 
2013-05-26 12:46:23 PM  

Mrbogey: It's not that difficult. Make the decisions that keep them out of trouble or in danger. The decisions that deal with everything else, let them have the majority opinion.


Is there any decision that couldn't be perceived as possibly ending in trouble?
 
2013-05-26 12:49:08 PM  

eiger: As a college professor, I can say that any parent who called me about their child's grade would experience a very brief conversation: "Your child is an adult. I need written authorization from them to talk to you. *Click.*"


Our academic advising department is really helpful for things like this. They ran inference for me with one father who was calling every day to complain about me enforcing a deadline despite their kid being sick.

/sorry, the deadline was in the syllabus with the words "no extensions" and "one letter grade per day late" in boldface
 
2013-05-26 12:49:26 PM  
I have a lot of kids, from toddlers to teenagers. I've done some things right, and I've mistakes. No two kids are different.

Of my teenagers, I have who has never been caught lying, makes good grades, pushes herself in school and extra curriculars, can't stand to be late, and is generally helpful and respectful. She comes to me with problems, admits when she has made mistakes, etc. She is overall a trustworthy kid who rarely screws up, and when she does she ows up to it.

I have another daughter who is, frankly, extremely deceitful and dishonest. She is lazy about schoolwork, and while her mannerisms are respectful, her continual lying is not.

I have a son who is middle ground. He's not one to generally lie about where he is going or what he is doing, he's been known to omit relevant facts or misrepresent circumstances. He's not a bad student, but we have to keep an eye or he gets behind.

So I've learned that all kids are different and parenting has to match the kids. I set a framework. So much as they operate within that framework, I don't interfere. But when they don't, I intervene.

The first kid above is pretty free range, with oversight. She's earned our trust.

The second? Damn straight I check her texts and monitor her social media accounts. She's destroyed our trust for her and knows she has to earn it back. If I dont watch her closely, she puts herself in bad situations. She is simply too impulsive at this age to make decent decisions.

The third I give space but I'm watchful, and I keep a very close eye on his schoolwork.

They get unconditional love. There are clear rules:

Respect yourself, your parents, and others.
Be truthful.
If you can't do something smart, do something right.
Do your best.
Leave things in better shape than you find them.
Don't be an asshole.

Not overly restrictive and pretty much what they need to do to be adults.
 
2013-05-26 12:50:23 PM  

jehovahs witness protection: Personally, I think it would be farking AWESOME if my mom had a helicopter.
But that's just me.


I just pictured my mom piloting a helicopter and it was not a good scene. She's almost 80, and she has trouble with the cable box remote. A helicopter incident would be tragic, and possibly a little comical. It would definitely involve a lot of screaming and a phone call asking me "how do I work this thing?"
 
2013-05-26 12:50:51 PM  

FrancoFile: When I was 12, and my brother was 9, we would bike 3 miles into town with a friend or two and spend all day at the A&W, the hobby store, and the video arcade. Leave at 10:30, home at 5. My mother loved it.


When I was 11, my parents took my (4 years) younger brother and I out of daycare, and I started taking care of us until they got home.  Typically that would mean around 6:30-7, but they would call some days to let me know they'd be a little late.  If it was getting close to 7, or they were going to be late, I would get supper started.  If I made sure  both my brother and I were done with our homework before they got home (not so big a deal when he was 7, but when he was 11...) then we would all play games or something as a family.

Btw, my little bro has aphasia due to my mother dying for a short period during childbirth, so helping him out wasn't as simple as just letting him do what I did at his age.  But, he's doing well enough for himself now too, so hey.

The very idea of having an 11yo and a "developmentally challenged" 7yo walk a mile home from school, and the 11yo taking care of the both for 3-4hrs each night, would be considered insane now, just a few years later.  I know, I know, society evolves and that's why there's no more child labor, etc, whatnot.  Except...all the stupid things that are being done to make the Y'ers and younger happy at work these days, despite their complete lack of productivity...I dunno, I think we've finally found that straw which might break the camel's back.  It won't be the retiring baby boomers wanting their SS checks to continue, it will be the helicopter kids who can't pay and the Xers who gave up and left the country because they were tired of taking care of two generations at once.

//Costa Rica in 1 to 2 years for me, if everything goes as planned...
//It almost always does.  That's the thing about making actual plans, and sticking to them
 
2013-05-26 12:52:51 PM  

redslippers: They get unconditional love. There are clear rules:

Respect yourself, your parents, and others.
Be truthful.
If you can't do something smart, do something right.
Do your best.
Leave things in better shape than you find them.
Don't be an asshole.


I think that last one pretty much covers and repeats the sentiment of all the previous rules.
 
2013-05-26 12:54:20 PM  
axiomamnesia.com
 
2013-05-26 12:56:07 PM  

ZeroCorpse: redslippers: They get unconditional love. There are clear rules:

Respect yourself, your parents, and others.
Be truthful.
If you can't do something smart, do something right.
Do your best.
Leave things in better shape than you find them.
Don't be an asshole.

I think that last one pretty much covers and repeats the sentiment of all the previous rules.


Yes. But it's there to make sure they get the overall theme. And since i rarely curse, it makes them giggle.
 
2013-05-26 12:57:33 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: Mrbogey: It's not that difficult. Make the decisions that keep them out of trouble or in danger. The decisions that deal with everything else, let them have the majority opinion.

Is there any decision that couldn't be perceived as possibly ending in trouble?


The old, "If I go there will be trouble, and if I stay if will be double" axiom.
 
2013-05-26 12:58:59 PM  

Britney Spear's Speculum: Or you could be childfree and not have these problems.


I am childfree but as a college professor, I still have to deal with the products of overparenting. It is pretty nice, though, to watch a freshman who is completely dependent on his/her parents to make every last decision (I have had some call their parents during an advising session to get the okay on what courses they will take next semester) turn into a smart, confident, independent adult ready to change the world.
 
2013-05-26 01:00:35 PM  

elysive: I'm sure the psychologist running the study is totally clueless about child rearing and human development.


Yeah, well, "psychologist". Perhaps a little more reliable than graphology, but it's a damn close thing.
 
2013-05-26 01:02:48 PM  
Make your own choices in life as long as those choices don't include ordering a 17-ounce soda, eating restaurant food that the chef salted, or consuming transfats. Cuz then you're just being silly and we need to save you from yourself.
 
2013-05-26 01:04:33 PM  

randomjsa: A measured approach. Let them make their own decisions within reason.


Far too simple, and completely right. There are some decisions children can make. Let them make those decisions. There are some decisions children need help with. Help them with those decisions.

With a bit of luck category (A) will start at about 95% and tail off to 5% (because we all need help with some decisions) by the time the kid's about 18.
 
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