At Wednesday’s LAPS weekly coffee klatch, members of the Los Alamos Public School administration, teachers and parents discussed the book How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, by Julie Lythcott-Haims.
At Stanford University, author Lythcott-Haims was Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of Freshmen and Undergraduate Advising. During that time she noticed students would arrive at college with really impressive GPA’s, test scores, and childhood resumes, but there was a problem. “So many of my students came to the university less prepared than ever to be the adults that life would ask them to be.”
“I wrote this book because too many adolescents and young adults seem to be on a path of someone else’s making, while being subjected to a lot of hovering and lot of help to ensure that particular path is walked, all in furtherance of a very limited and narrow definition of ‘success.’”
During the meeting the group discussed the book and how the ideas may or may not apply to Los Alamos.
One couple described the awkward moment when they planned to drop their kid off on the first day of high school, only to see that all the other parents were there, with their children, registering them. The question is, which is better to learn things the hard way and find out how the world works, or have a parent help you get it done right but then wind up not being able to do it for yourself?
There are good reasons for parents to want to step in. Right now, students graduate college with no guarantee of getting a job. The pressure is on to get into the best college possible and it seems like the best way to compete for a spot in college is to playsports, get perfect grades,do service projects, etc. The result is that students get burned out, lose sight of who they are and what they want to do in life, and don’t know how to take care of themselves.
“It’s important to have these discussions at the elementary level,” Donna Schaefer said. “We want to find ways for kids to be more responsible for what they’re learning.”
Parents, teachers and students are encouraged to read, How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, by Julie Lythcott-Haims.
Educators, parents, students, and community members are all invited to these weekly discussions that take place on the outdoor patio at Smith’s Marketplace (weather permitting). The next meeting is 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3.
There are several ways to get involved: