How ‘helicopter parenting’ is ruining America’s children – Los Angeles Times

College freshmen will soon head home for the holidays, ready to fill in their parents on all the fresh experiences in their new lives. Or not. For today’s younger generation, there may be nothing to tell the folks, who are already in touch with their kids all day, every day. Julie Lythcott-Haims thinks that is not a good thing. She spent 10 years as the first dean of freshmen at Stanford University (her alma mater), and she has mined those years for her book, “How to Raise an Adult,” published in June. “Helicopter parenting” is a term from the 1990s; now Mom and Dad aren’t swooping in physically, they’re hovering via smartphone, literally taking their offspring in hand. Worse, the kids are happy to go along with it — maybe they can’t do without it.

You saw this problem not only at Stanford but in your own home.

Working with the quote-unquote best and brightest, I was seeing more and more [students] who seemed less and less capable of doing the stuff of life. They were incredibly accomplished in the transcript and GPA sense but less with their own selves, evidenced by how frequently they communicated with a parent, texting multiple times a day, needing a parent to tell them what to do.

I’d been scolding other people for five or six years. One night I started cutting my 10-year-old son’s meat and realized I was enabling dependence on me. I could see the link between parenting and why my college students, though very accomplished academically, were rather existentially impotent.