I’ve seen this myself. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a perfect parent – but isn’t that the point? My kids learned to adapt. They’re self-supporting, smart and have never been in trouble. I give them more credit than me, they figured things out for themselves:

(NEWSER) – Working as a therapist upended everything Lori Gottlieb thought she had learned about parenting, she writes in an Atlantic piece certain to stir a Tiger Mom-sized controversy. Gottlieb found many depressed, anxious patients on her couch—who instead of recounting their horrible childhoods, waxed poetic about their loving parents who cared about nothing more than their happiness. Modern parents, she realizes, may be creating unhappy adults by caring so much about their children’s happiness that they insulate them from discomfort and criticism, leaving them unable to handle the setbacks of adult life.

Much like the immune system needs to be exposed to pathogens, “kids also need exposure to discomfort, failure, and struggle,” a child psychologist tells Gottlieb. “I know parents who call up the school to complain if their kid doesn’t get to be in the school play or make the cut for the baseball team.” Parents may be mistaking their own emotional needs for their children’s, creating a generation of narcissists as a result, Gottlieb writes. “By trying so hard to provide the perfectly happy childhood, we’re just making it harder for our kids to actually grow up,” she writes. “Maybe we parents are the ones who have some growing up to do—and some letting go.”

One thought on “Overparenting

  1. In “Born for Love” by Bruce Perry and Maia Szlavitz, a book that is all about building empathy (http://www.harpercollins.com/books/Born-Love/?isbn=9780061656781) they make the point that a moderate amount of stress and frustration is needed for a child to learn how to moderate the stress reaction. I think of it as similar to being exposed to germs so that your body can develop the immunities you will need later. They describe a case study of a kid who was turned into a serious sociopath by wealthy parents who indulged the kid with everything he wanted basically to keep him quiet.

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