Monday, October 15, 2007

Being Involved with Kids’ Education Vs Backing Off and Giving Them Space

To further bolster the case against being a helicopter parent, Don Mayhew of the McClatchy News Service has a new piece out suggesting that parents who intervene too deeply in their children’s lives may inadvertently negatively affect their children’s success and maturity level by the time the kids are in college:

“Students who get too much help growing up often don’t last long at college. [Helen E.] Johnson, who spent several years working at Cornell University in New York and now lives in North Carolina, said the stress of dealing with the real world can lead to self-destructive behaviors, such as eating disorders or cutting themselves. They may turn to antidepressants.

‘This is a really unattractive outcome of hyper-parenting,’ she said.”

My questions: How are parents supposed to strike a balance between guiding their children in a way that affords the kids a chance to make their own mistakes and meddling, when schools request – nay demand – that parents become uber-involved in their children’s educational pursuits via prodigious volunteering and overseeing homework assignments?

Aren’t parents being sent mixed messages: Involved parents=educational success vs over-involved parents=immature college-aged students?

1 comment:

suchsimplepleasures said...

i feel i need not listen to what the so called "experts" say. i am very involved with my kids, their homework, friends etc...and, they aren't flunking out of school (for the most part), they have really nice friends (again, for the most part) and they are growing and maturing quite nicely! interesting post!