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Book: How to Raise An Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success
Author: Julie Lythcott-Haims

1. Helicopter parenting (doing and controlling everything for our kids) is a style that has been seen to be unhealthy for kids, (Chapter 7). Why?

    • It doesn’t help their sense of self-worth, as it deprives them of learning how to manage their own lives (p. 166 has a good list of life skills).
    • Without executive functioning skills, they are stuck ill-equipped for the workforce. Read “Cautionary Tales from HR, p.110.
    • We (parents) are trying to control their lives for many reasons: fear of the unknown, and how it looks for us. Sometimes we parent from our own ego. She asks, are we raising Stepford children?
    • College faculty are seeing that freshman stress levels are on the rise. On p. 88, Haims reveals some alarming statistics. The college mental health centers are flooded.
    • A childhood that is “checklisted” leaves no time for creative thinking. They have no time to dream. See "A different kind of checklist” on p. 81.
    • Are we mortgaging our children’s childhoods? To what end?

2. A different parenting style: Haims advocates instead an Authoritative (different from authoritarian) style which means both kind and firm, combined (Haims, p.148).

3. A few ways to develop strong kids:

    • Ask them to be responsible at home. See p.199 where Haims discusses the importance of chores. Use the following strategy for building skills:

first, we do it for you
then we do it with you
then we watch you do it
then you do it completely and independently

    • Let go and stop enabling them! If they have to call us at every step of the way, they are not exercising the ability to do it on their own.
    • Let them experience the following emotional hardships: see “Mistakes and Curveballs You Must Let Your Child Experience,” (Haims, p.239). Experiencing hardships during the formative years and supporting them through it is the best way to develop kids who are resilient and have grit.

4. Fight back against what she calls the College Brouhaha: Parents need to let go of where they will end up and accept who their children are today (p.299). There are clear advantages to seeking out other than the “name brand colleges.” The idea that a college that is an Ivy vs. a college that “changes lives.” Visit for more.

5. Lastly, You! Stop living your lives through your children. Find the balance in your life and bring fun back in. You are their heroes and we need to make grown up life look appealing so they’ll aspire to it. Join in with other parents who are choosing not to over-parent. See Chapter 22: “Be the Parent You Want to Be.”