Take a minute to listen to Stanford’s Dean of Freshmen, Julie Lythcott-Haims:
Incoming students are brilliant and accomplished and virtually flawless, on paper. But with each year, more of them seem incapable of taking care of themselves. At the same time, parents are becoming more and more involved in their children’s lives. They talk to their children multiple times a day and swoop in to personally intervene anytime something difficult happens. [tenses changed for stylistic reasons]
Sound familiar? I suppose that depends on who and where you are, but it surely should sound familiar to parents, students, and teachers. Even in Weston there are some parents who fit this description. “Mothers and fathers in affluent communities have been hobbling their children by trying so hard to make sure they succeed, and by working so diligently to protect them from disappointment and failure and hardship,” says this article from the Washington Post.
According to the article, Lythcott-Haims “tells stories about over-involved mothers and fathers, and shares statistics about rising depression and other mental health problems in young people, that she hopes will spark change in communities around the country where helicopter parents are making themselves, and their kids, miserable.” Stories and statistics — both are needed. And yes, it is indeed all too familiar.
As soon as it’s released, let’s see what the recent survey of Weston students says. Stay tuned. And please figure out a solution.