One of the most important and hardest jobs hands down is parenting. Parenting has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. Mostly it is a function of the times we live in as women have joined the workforce as equals although the emotional piece never changes. And because of that there is a lot of guilt, stress, exhaustion, frustration, expectation and uncertainty.

I just read that children with hyper-involved parents have more anxiety and less satisfaction with life. Children who play unsupervised build better social skills, emotional maturity and feel more comfortable spending time by themselves. None of this is surprising to me.

Kids deserve the ability to find themselves without harming themselves. Giving kids long ropes to discover their own cadence by entertaining themselves, understanding the expectations put on them to giving them the tools to teach them, letting them figure out their own social issues although being there as a sounding board and a shoulder to cry on, and at the same time making sure you as a parent get your own time and your life so the kids are not your entire being is important for everyone.

Raise kids with wings to fly. Don’t clip those wings so tight that they falter out of the nest. It isn’t a good look.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Jessica Isaacs

    Couldn’t agree more. Can you share what you recently read that discusses this topic? Thx.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I’m not sure. I read so much nonsense

  2. Susan Rubinsky

    Totally agree. I actually had a friendship that dissolved because my friend didn’t agree with my parenting philosophy. I used to live next the Yale polo fields in New Haven, CT. I also used to watch my friend’s daughter on Saturdays when her Mom worked. The kids were maybe seven or eight years old and I would give them carrots or apples and send them over to the barn at the other end of the field to go see and feed the horses. The people who worked in the stables were very friendly and encouraged the neighborhood kids to come see the horses. (There also was an adjacent field that the New Haven Police Department used for their horses and you could go see those horses too.) Living in a small city, it was pretty amazing to have that field and the horses right next to our house. The kids loved it! One day, my friend came back from worked and asked where her daughter was. I said, “Oh, I sent them over to feed the horses.” She completely flipped out. She said I was being negligent and that she was never bringing her daughter over again. From that day on, she brought her daughter to work with her and locked her in a windowless doctor’s office while she filled people’s eye glass prescriptions. Her daughter is now 21 and didn’t go to college because she is afraid to go anywhere by herself. She works at Walmart with her Mom. Her Mom believes she is still protecting her and that it’s dangerous for girls to go to college by themselves anyway. Very, very sad situation.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Wow. That’s just awful.

  3. JanetVP

    I’m divorced and for 12 years have co-parented 3 kids with a controlling worrier who re-married an even more controlling worrier. My kids were always amazed that I encouraged them (in an age-appropriate way) to get out and explore the world. When she was 16, my daughter asked why I was willing to let her go downtown alone. I told here there’s a tiny risk in letting her venture out, but a 100% risk of making her a dysfunctional human being if I don’t.She had several years of crippling anxiety due largely to the constant fear mongering at her other house, but she is now living independently in the city and interviewing for jobs after college. My sample size of 1 completely supports your intuition and advice on this point.

  4. awaldstein

    The Coddling of America written by Lukianoff and Haidt touches on pieces of this.

    1. Gotham Gal

      It’s fascinating to me why people coddle