“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody.” – Herbert Swope
Working in higher education, I deal with helicopter parents and lawnmower parents on a daily basis now. Overparenting is an incredible disservice to children and young adults. Not only do they experience setbacks, negative feedback, and garden-variety frustrations of life as insurmountable failures and barriers, they often lack the savvy to safeguard themselves from actual dangers. I see expensive gadgets left unattended and personal safety measures ignored at night, and I am often asked for help with various questions and issues (sometimes it’s more of a demand than a request), apparently because I am a female who looks sufficiently older than a student. It makes me both sad and concerned to think that these young people were raised to expect a benevolent world of surrogate mothers taking care of them, only to find, as we all must, that life is harder and more unfair than that. I suspect that a child who has to live with the consequences of having a smaller item stolen would not, at 19, be so careless with a laptop. The child who had to struggle and learn by doing her own homework might not need her mother to call a college professor about an unclear grading policy. The child who was taught to hope for the best but be prepared for the worst may be able to be delighted by the good things that happen, and not crushed when problems arise.
i can read.
There are some things I miss about my old job, such as the awesome schedule and some great colleagues. I miss the concise emails signed only “gs” and the trips across the street to the basement where a very cool crew of a former navy seal, an artist/fashionista, and an independent scholar/former Opus Dei member ran the day-to-day operations of the complex of buildings. Good to see that George is getting recognition for his work!