During these stressful times, parents tend to do whatever is necessary to protect their children, and this is a normal behavior that is sometimes necessary. However, always rescuing our kids is not beneficial for them in the long run.
Stories of the harmful effects of over-parenting and constant rescuing flood our news media. From parents contacting college professors to argue grades, to calling employers to lobby for their grown kids' raises, to suing schools for having the boldness to kick kids off sports teams for refusing to practice, to kids having no idea how to support themselves financially as young adults—it is mind-boggling. In recent years, we have even seen extreme examples of this with the college admissions scandals.
Jim Fay warned us about helicopter parenting way back in the 1970s and his words have proven true. Fewer young adults feel responsible for their own destinies and more of them are living at home without much ambition to leave. More grandparents are taking care of their kids' offspring as well as their kids' debts.
At Love and Logic, we want to change the world. We want to help parents raise more responsible young people who can solve problems and take care of themselves out in the world. We know they can do it. All they really need are messages that say they can along with some practice.
If you wanted your child to play the accordion, but never allowed him or her to hold one (because it is too heavy), would you be surprised if he or she never got very good at it?
Often, we do the same thing with solving problems. Kids who never practice solving problems will not magically get better at it. They need repetitions working on and struggling with solving problems.
Rescuing our kids gives them messages that they are weak and can result in them developing a sense of low personal worth. Protecting them from the natural consequences of their decisions deprives them of the opportunity to learn how to make decisions on their own.
What if more adults resisted their urge to jump in and solve problems for kids? What if they said something like, "Wow, that's a tough one, but if any kid can figure it out, you can! Let me know what you decide to do."
Could our world use a few more kids who weren't rendered helpless by too much interference? We believe that the Love and Logic approach to helping kids to make responsible decisions is a better alternative than always rescuing them. For tips on how to help kids learn to make responsible decisions, listen to our audio, Four Steps to Responsibility.
Thanks for reading!