Mar 31, 2012

SITE: Helicopter Parents

Easter Egg Hunt Cancelled, Helicopter Parenting Blamed

An Easter egg hunt was canceled because, last year, some parents crossed the rope to "help" their kids. By "help," I mean, they grabbed eggs for their kids. 

“'They couldn’t resist getting over the rope to help their kids,' said Ron Alsop, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and author of The Trophy Kids Grow Up, which examines the 'millennial children' generation... 'That’s the perfect metaphor for millennial children. They (parents) can’t stay out of their children’s lives. They don’t give their children enough chances to learn from hard knocks, mistakes.'”

Granted, having an empty basket isn't necessarily hand knocks, but I get his point. I see it in the classroom. Parents are under the impression that every assignment, every decision, every egg, every consequence, every everything is the deciding factor between success and failure. What's the worst that could happen if a kid didn't get an egg? What's the worst that could happen if a kid fails an assignment? Honestly, in class, when he sat, talking, ignoring his work, he didn't seem traumatized by the possibility that he would fail. 

More and more, kids lack effort and fight. Rather than buckling down, they complain and blame. After reading a problem once, some students throw their hands into the air or start doodling. I'm sick of hearing, "I don't get it."

Parents don't ask, "What should my child do?" They ask, "What can we do?" And they mean we, parent and teacher. Too often, parents take it personally, as a reflection of their parenting. Or their "common sense" tells them that a mistake or failure will cripple them forever.

No, trust me, their unavoidable hardships will not be caused by a lack of eggs. Try again.

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