How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success

Author: Julie Lythcott-Haims

Call No.: 306.874 LYT - [FAM]

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Helicopter parenting is a parenting style in which a parent pays close attention to and often tries to control the type of life experiences his or her child goes through. In this book, Lythcott-Haims, who has spoken and written widely on the subject, and whose work has appeared on TEDx talks, as well as in Forbes and the Chicago Tribune, further examines this phenomenon and shares on the potential pitfalls of such a parenting style.

As a former dean of freshmen and undergraduate advising at Stanford University for over a decade, Lythcott-Haims has had much experience interacting with students who were raised by helicopter parents. Here, she recounts anecdotes of some of her charges, who although were academically successful, were ultimately unable to function in the real world without their parents’ help.

While the book may seem geared more towards an American audience and initially adopts a somewhat pessimistic tone, overall it provides a balanced overview of what parenting is and should not be about. Lythcott-Haims also offers her personal insights on parenting, as well as concrete tips: for example, the importance of allowing children to fail so that they can learn new skills, the need to let them try out activities that will not necessarily further their resumés (such as housework), and at the end of the day, why it is essential to give our children the space and freedom to be who they are instead of what we want them to become.