Because I am an EduGeek through and through, I still read about my biz even when I should be with a buzz…or at least at the pool with my kids. But I read this article which
proves beyond a shadow of a doubt sheds more light on everything we educators already knew about education: Parents really need to back off their kids’ lives and let them do something crazy, like, oh, I don’t know, fail every now and again. This is not a new concept that I discovered just recently; in fact, I see more and more articles about the increase of suicide in our best and brightest kids because of the pressures put upon them by their parents.
As a parent, I totally get not wanting to see your child, the little person you literally grew from seed, be hurt in any way. I get it. I get why we want our children to be successful (I totally want my own old person Au Pair and live off of my stinking rich kid). But what I don’t get is why parents would be so selfish that they allow their children to be placed in a situation where not only will they fail, but they will also fail epically. The data is coming in that not only are we producing these “excellent sheep”, but businesses are having to train these excellent sheep to actually think because, well, they can’t! We haven’t allowed them to make decisions, good or bad. Students are now entering college and taking classes like the “Success Academy” at Georgia State University because they have never had to take the initiative or to make a decision.
And parents aren’t the only ones who are to blame. Educators began the testing mills in the early 2000s, and now we are pushing this out to businesses. Students are great multiple choice test takers, but they are not good at making their own decisions.
Because we want our offspring and our students to be successful and live a life that is pain free, we over-parent and over-protect them into a corner, and these wonderful, creative, problem solving, vibrant little people grow into anxious, scared, depressed, and often suicidal young adults.
So, for the rest of the summer, I say let your kids fall and scrape their knees. Let them bow out of that mission trip to Zimbabwe. Let them ride bikes, eat Popsicle, walk to the neighborhood pool, and sleep in late. They’re kids, and they should be able to be kids with all the rights and privileges of kiddom. Don’t worry…you wont be like my mom or other moms of the 70s. But if you might lean that way, I don’t think I suffered too much from the lead poisoning by drinking out of the hose.