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How To Make Sure You’re Raising An Adult, And Not A Grown-Up Baby

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Don’t Send Your Kid To College Unprepared!

My father used to tell me about how things were “back in his day”: how on summer days his mother kicked him out of the house at sunrise and told him and his siblings not to come back until dinner; how conflicts among peers were settled in blows on the playground; how he got a paper route starting when he was just 9-years-old to scrape together some spending money. And don’t forget about that 10-mile walk to school uphill — both ways.


Well, there’s no denying that we’ve come a long way since “his day,” but now the question is, have we gone TOO far? Julie Lythcot-Haims is a former dean from Stamford University and the author of the new book How To Raise An Adult: Break Free Of The Overparenting Trap And Prepare Your Kid For Success. She recently sat down with the people at USA Today to discuss the skills that are most essential for 18-year-olds to be successful when they enter college. You might be surprised to hear that computational reasoning and proficiency in 3 languages are NOT on the list.

And moms, get ready for this one — we know you do everything you can for your children because the world we live in today isn’t the Wild West that our parents were raised in, but your “helicopter parenting” may actually be harming your kids more than you’re helping them!

Read on to learn about Julie Lythcot-Haims’s suggestions for your kids based on her experience in the field!

1. Thou Shalt Let Your Child Develop Communication Skills


When your 18-year-old needs to communicate a problem to their dean, communicate what they’re feeling to an ER nurse, or communicate with a stranger for directions, they’re going to need to call on the skills they’ve honed in this area from past experiences — and you being the middle-man for your child in all the interactions like this that they have is NOT preparing them for life in the real world.

2. Thou Shalt Let Your Child Get Lost


We mean that literally — physically, geographically lost. It’s 2016, you know that child has a cell phone and knows how to use it if they’re in trouble, so let them figure out their own way to get where they want to go, be it practice, a friend’s house, or the movies. If they can’t even navigate a bus system or a sidewalk via GoogleMaps, how can you expect them to find their way around a new campus, or a new city?