What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

OUT THE DOOR

     Home  >  Articles  > Child Raising
by Judy Antell

Related:


According to recent studies, parents are becoming involved in their children’s work lives. No, not a paper route or babysitting. Parents are calling the bosses of their kids who are college graduates to discuss work issues.

   A father recently jumped into a wrestling ring during his son’s match and threw the opponent off his child.  The ‘helicopter’ parent, hovering near her children, is morphing into a bulldozer, mowing down any obstacle her offspring confronts.



   So many parents micro-manage their kids’ lives, “helping” with school, friendships, activities, that children cannot face hurdles alone. I know one mother who picks up the phone and calls the children who tease her daughter. If playground squabbles require parental interference, how will this child deal with more adult challenges?

   I grew up with very hands-off parents. I remember in junior high signing up for softball tryouts, and riding my bicycle, alone, to the field.  In high school, I arranged summer programs at colleges. I also filled out college applications on my own, basically just asking my mother for the checks I needed.  I’m not complaining; this was a typical level of non-involvement.  I had friends whose parents completed their college applications, but that seemed ridiculous to me; they weren’t the ones applying.

   If we don’t let kids make some decisions on their own, how will they ever take care of themselves?  A recent trend is college graduates who live with their parents while working entry-level jobs; my husband and I joke with our kids that at 18, they are out the door. But I hope the reality is that they can function without coming home and relying on me to do the laundry and to write a note when they are sick.  I understand the compulsion to keep doing for your child — who wants to watch her kid fail? But doing everything for them isn’t helpful in the long run. A college student I know had to drop out of school. His parents had always reviewed every assignment with him, helped him study for tests, organized his activities. When he got to college, he was unable to work independently.  In the long run, it might be better to fail early on and learn from those mistakes, than to go out in the “real world” and fail in ways from which it is more difficult to recover.

   Not only are kids not allowed to fail, they are also absolved of responsibility when something goes awry.  At my daughter’s middle school, a parent has to be informed that a child is not doing well in a class before the teacher is “allowed” to give a bad grade.  One of my daughter’s friends never did her homework and never studied. The teacher neglected to tell her parents, so the kid was given a passing grade.

   When I’m old and gray(er), I’d like my kids to be able to take care of me, fetching me a nice cold lemonade and bringing me a large print copy of The New York Times.  If they don’t learn how to take care of themselves, what will happen to me in my dotage?

NOTE: After writing this Editorial, I got a call from a woman looking for a job.  For her daughter.  The daughter was apparently very busy, so she had her mom call.  Two suggestions to future job applicants:  1.  If you are old enough to get a job, you are old enough to place your own phone calls.  2. If you are too busy to make said phone call, how will a job fit into your action-packed life?


Get a free whine stopper

Receive our weekly highlights newsletter · Over 1,000 local activities

More Child Raising Articles

Three Tips for a Happier Holiday
Alternatives to Overindulging Your Child
Moments of Meaning During the Holiday Rush
Holiday Concerns for Special Needs
Beating Homesickness at Camp

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local Child Raising Sponsors


Little Scoops
500 Route 303
Orangeburg, NY
845-365-4500
Come to a place where children's parties are FUN a...

Glaze Art Studio
34 Orangeburg Plaza
Orangeburg, NY
845-359-9020
glaze is Rockland's only paint your own pottery an...

Pedigree Ski Shop
355 Mamaroneck Ave.
White Plains, NY
914-948-2995
Pedigree Ski Shop is the best shop carrying skis, ...

Little Learners
3565 Crompond Rd
Cortlandt Manor, New York

About Programming and products at Little Learne...
Sports Arena (The)
620 Middle Country Rd
St James, NY
631-361-9288
...
See Our Child Raising Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2015 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE