Educators and college officials are noticing an alarming trend among incoming students. While they’re highly accomplished on paper, many students demonstrate an inability to take care of themselves. The reason, educators say, is overparenting.
Overparenting, or, helicopter parenting, occurs when a parent “hovers” close to their child at all times, ready to intervene at the first sign of difficulty. Indiana University psychologist Chris Meno says, “Such overhelping might assist children in developing impressive résumés for college admission, but it also robs them of the chance to learn who they are, what they love, and how to navigate the world.”
Between standardized testing, an unstable job market, and school safety concerns, today’s students face enormous obstacles. It’s understandable why parents are inclined to help however possible. For a parent, filling out internship applications or setting up utilities for their child might seem beneficial in the moment, but it ultimately does more harm than good.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of 3 excellent reads aimed at helping parents learn to let go:
- How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, by Julie Lythcott-Haims
- The Gift of Failure, by Jessica Lahey
- All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood, by Jennifer Senior
The path to success is not easy for modern students, and the guidance they receive outside the classroom is just as important as what they learn in school. Even though it can be agonizing as a parent to witness your child struggle, it is important to keep in mind that a bit of struggle is necessary for growth. These books can help parents navigate when and how to intervene. Together, parents and educators can foster the next generation of independent thinkers.