There isn’t any magic formula to parenting. There are countless factors going into raising a kid with innumerable decisions that have to be made in trying to decide how to handle your children. One parenting style that I see more and more of in the modern age is the coddling “helicopter parent”. While the helicopter parent strategy seems fine on paper it can do a lot more harm to kids than what good it does, most kids with some degree of helicopter parents will likely have some disdain for their parents’ invading behaviors. Young people in these situations often have little to no privacy, they have no freedom to do things on their own, and their parents are constantly breathing down their necks through monitoring their location, their texts, and their activities. This overbearing style of parenting produces young adults with many issues in taking on independence and looking out for themselves overall, so how should parents be acting alternatively?
A GoodTherapy.org article puts it quite well in saying, “In order for teens to grow up, they need to have the opportunity to experience the freedom of making their own decisions (age appropriate) and the opportunity to learn from mistakes. When parents place a certain level of trust in their teen, the teen will be more likely to respect the parents as well as their rules.” Parents should be overseeing their children, but as they move into becoming teenagers and becoming adults they need to have experiences that let them learn real lessons for themselves. They have to be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. They have to get stung to learn how to avoid painful or stressful situations. The skills and knowledge that young people acquire during this time in their lives are lessons that they can use for their entire lives, and will come real handy during their transitions into adulthood. In order for young people to slowly become adults they have to at some point begin to be treated like one, if they are denied any real responsibility throughout their youth they will be dependent and frankly unable to care for themselves properly when the time comes.
A 2017 Business Insider article outlined some of the traits that the parents of successful kids have in common. The list includes things like giving your kids chores, teaching them social skills, setting high expectations, teaching grit, etc. It also includes things like higher socioeconomic statuses and attaining higher education levels, things that aren’t available to all parents, but the other items on the list are things that really do check out for having positive effects on children. There is no recipe for producing well mannered and confident kids, but there are definitely actions that can lead children in the right direction, and parents should be taking advantage of every such opportunity. The fate of the next generation is greatly effected by the actions of the parents, and the world isn’t getting any friendlier, so parents really have to be on the top of their game.