Becky and I realized early on in this child-rearing adventure of ours that parenting is a skill. That means you can get better at it, and since it’s so important, we’ve been making it a priority to keep improving at it.
This is part of our 100 Things in 2017 challenge. Click on the photos for a closer look!
We’ve done this in three previous editions of the 100 Things list. This year we wanted to focus less on early childhood, and more on what we’re looking at in the coming years. Our choice is How to Raise an Adult, and it was fantastic.
It’s written by a former advisor at a prestigious college, and her entry point into the world of common-sense child rearing was seeing how all the kids with helicopter parents dealt with living at a university, where they don’t have anyone there cracking the whip all the time. She dove into the research and spoke to dozens of experts, and found out how important it is for kids to do things themselves.
From there, she digs into how families end up in situations like this, from the not-so-gentle peer pressure of wanting to be the “perfect parent” in early childhood, all the way through writing college-application essays for your teenager. It’s an easy trap to fall into, since sometimes you have to act kind of like the villain, and say “no, I won’t grab the thing off the high shelf for you, grab the stool.”
It was a great read. The author is really good at telling these stories conversationally, and even though there’s tons of research backing her up, it never feels dry or boring. Furthermore, it backs up what Becky and I have believed for a while – that we’re not parenting kids, we’re training them to be grownups. Highly recommended.