Cake
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    • With all the recent news around parents bribing universities for admission, it has me wondering how far I'd go to bend the rules for my kids. I've grown up as a millennial amongst a mix of hands off, helicopter, intensive parenting, and snowplow parenting; each with varying effects. I've definitely seen my share of freshman college dropouts who couldn't handle the transition away from home.

      One thing I wasn't prepared for with having kids of my own is how much of your identity and daily life is wrapped up in pretty much everything that your children do. You work to provide for them, you make sure they eat, go to school, brush their teeth, get to bed on time. From the beginning you are feeding a burping and so much of your time is spend managing this child. It's so easy to see how that same feeling of needing to manage can just keep translating further and further along in life.

      Sometimes I feel like I really need to take a step back and think about that fact that what I really want is a self sufficient adult at the end of all this. I've been searching for teachable moments. The kid is only 2 right now, so language is a bit of a barrier and it can be hard to learn from failures and frustrations. Maybe the way to think about all this is that being a parent should be more of a mentorship role, rather than a problem solving role in all aspects of life. Something more akin to an apprenticeship of life.

      What do you think?

    • What an incredibly thoughtful, honest and well-written reflection. As a former public school teacher, I have seen students who were definitely coddled, but I’ve also seen children who were hurting because of a lack parental love or a lack of basic compentency by the parents. The kids who know their parents love them will do fine, even if the parents’ hovering is suboptimal.

    • There was an interesting editorial in Time magazine from a parent on why American parents are more “helicopter-parent” than Scandinavian countries. College admissions are less competitive and there is a much smaller earnings gap between those who attend college and those who don’t.  In essence, if you don’t hover over your kids in Sweden, they’ll probably end up okay as adults.