How can adults (parents, teachers, mentors, etc.) help young people to learn the necessary skills for success in life? While it's true that young people need the care and support from the adults in their life, adults sometimes tend to over-protect their children, to the extent that there is now a meme known as "helicopter parents", which is related to tiger moms, or soccer dads, who are afraid of letting their kids make mistakes.
This parenting style, characterized by a helicopter-like tendency to hover over children (and even teenagers) and swoop in to rescue them at the first sign of trouble, exploded into mainstream consciousness in the early 2000s, just as the oldest millennials were entering young adulthood. This was a time in the culture that was fraught with peril, after events like Sept. 11 and the two economic crashes of 2000 and 2008, where parents had cause for concern over their children's futures.
The worst examples of helicopter parenting include previously unheard-of behaviors like parents attending their adult children's job interviews or calling college professors to argue over a grade. Meanwhile kids emerge from childhood without basic survival skills like how to cook, or clean, or do their own laundry.
While it's true that these parental characteristics generally come from the highly educated middle class or wealthier families with social and financial resources to share with adult children, it's also true that this is an ongoing set of circumstances that may come from many different economic and social backgrounds and that may need to be examined in more detail, if adults are to understand that their over-protectiveness may be stunting the development of young people as they grow into adulthood.
Read on to learn more about this important subject...