Saturday, June 13, 2015

How To Raise An Adult

Hi, I'm Barbara, and I'm somewhere between a semi-overprotective and a permissive parent. Now that I've introduced myself, let me talk about a book that I'm reviewing for you! How To Raise An Adult : Break Free Of The Overparenting Trap And Prepare Your Kid For Success was written by Julie Lythcott-Haims. Let me give you a nutshell of information about the author. She has served as a dean of freshman and undergraduate advising at Stanford University. Ms. Lythcott-Haims has spoke  about and has written numerous articles about helicopter parenting. If you are familiar with TEDx talks, her work has appeared  on them. Julie holds two degrees, a BA from Stanford University and a JD from Harvard Law School. She is working on a MFA (to be honest, I have no idea what it is!) from California College of the Arts.

Getting to her book... I want to tell you about the parts that spoke to me! (I actually had at least a dozen or more tagged with sticky tags in the book!) She mentioned about Baby Boomers being the first to be helicopter parents, and I'm one of the baby boomers (born in 1962). I've tried to be there for Steven, but due to working 40 hours a week most of his early years and until about 2 years ago--- I was busy most of the time sleeping or working the nightshift.  Julie talked about kids riding their bikes to school with a parent riding with them. I didn't want Steven to ride his bike to school, I didn't want him to get bullied or hurt on the ride to and from school. Was I trying to overprotect, or did I not give him the chance to be capable to learn to handle things himself? Good question. Did I butt in too much when I took a matter to the teacher and the principal that son had been bullied for two to three years in elementary school, or should I have let Steven speak to the teacher and the principal himself?
I definitely don't plan on calling a future employer of his or to interfere with his job! One Millennial mother called his boss over a weekend regarding her son putting in too many hours, and he was greeted at the building Monday morning with a box of his stuff--- and a note "ask your mother"!

We've let him make the decision on his classes throughout the years. Honestly, Steve and I couldn't have steered him to do a career that we'd want him to. We can only hope that he makes wise choices. We don't do his homework for him, like some of the parents that Julie wrote about. She wrote of parents even writing their young adults' college essays and whatever it took to get their kids into "the right" college. We got involved when we needed to switch him to hospital/home bound schooling through the county when his back pain became too much for him to sit in class. The way I figure it, from Julie's book, I can only guide and teach him skills on organizing and getting his act together in regards to school and further on with college or armed services.

Parents need to make sure that the children get the opportunity to have time for being themselves and time for homework, but the kids need to learn how to balance the two! There were a few things in the book that Julie brought up, like young adults doing whatever it took class wise in high school so that the prestige schools would pick them over Joe Schmoe would didn't take 3 years of a foreign language. She had a chapter on the college kids taking Adderall and pulling allnighters after taking it to do more studying. One student had been taking it at one point, and he questioned about the long term effects of it. Would they be continuing the drug when they were out there in the workforce?

There are certain life skills that should be learned by certain ages, like being able to shop and cook a meal with multiple items in it between the ages of 14 -18. They need to be able to pump gas, and check the oil level in their car. He can prepare a meal for us, after he has shopped for it. He grill a meal of chicken or hamburgers and make a side dish. He does some laundry, though he doesn't always treat stains on clothes. He's learning those kind of skills, the ones that you need for at least taking care of your place. Childhood should be an experience that helps and prepares child for life in the world later on!

He interacts well with adults and can carry on a conversation with them, even if they are strangers. Steven's doing well about learning how to get himself to and from places on his bike without us, and he has no qualms about riding his bike to and from a dojo a few miles from the house in the dark. I'm fearful for him, though I do realize that he's old enough at 16 years old to bike ride in the dark! He didn't master managing his classes and getting assignments and tests turned in on time during hospital/home bound, and he maybe paying for the consequences of his actions. (That time management/organization/classwork/papers thing is one of the skills that 18 years should be able to do by the time that they go to college.  Steven can help contribute to the running of our home, by doing laundry, cooking dinner, and cleaning dishes, along with taking care of our birds.  I think that he's got the handling of interpersonal problems down pat. Managing money---he's still working on it.
An 18 year old must be able to take risks, and he's getting there.

What I've learned from reading Julie's book is that I need to step back from the hovering, and to guide him gently as he makes his own decisions with school, college and life. All my husband and I can do is to help sure his got the skills for life coping for the future.( I have stickers on pages in her book to help me to stick task teaching! )

For more information: How To Raise An Adult .

How To Raise An Adult trailer

Four Tips on How To Raise An Adult

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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