To the Editor:
Why are many teenagers and early-20-somethings so slow to reach adulthood (“Majority of Youths Found to Lack a Direction in Life,” June 11, 2008)? Well, take a look at parents who do everything for their children, trying to keep them “safe and secure from all alarms,” as the old hymn says.
I am sick and tired of all the hand-wringing, with government officials, educators, and communities being asked—even demanded—ad nauseam to solve the problem. The solution rests solidly with the parents, who should be careful about giving kids their every heart’s desire. Much can be said about discipline, restraint, sacrifice, and hard work. Turn off the TV, cut the cellphone service, take away the video games, close down the computer, and give kids responsibility early on. And for the love of God, don’t be “helicopter parents,” always hovering over your children.
My sainted parents would be whirling in their graves if they could see the muck-up we have made of parenting and education. How thankful I am to have grown up when I did, where I did, and with whom I did. And thanks to the nuns who taught my generation! Too bad there are no longer any of those old-fashioned sisters.
A version of this article appeared in the July 16, 2008 edition of Education Week as Parents Can Aid Motivation By Asking More of Children