Useful Books about Family

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

The 7 Habits of Effective Family

How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success

  1. When should stop overparenting:
    • “let your kids play, let them make the rules, resolve the conflicts, best is if they do it spontaneously on their own (rather than scheduled by parents)”
    • help kids develop life skills
    • let kids roam free out of your supervision
    • teach kids critical thinking / think for themselves
    • prepare kids for hard work, resilience
    • help kids choose school best for them, not necessarily the Best school.
    • “Don’t do for your kid what your kid can already do or can almost do.”
    • “choose toys that allow free play (the more multipurpose/generic the better: blocks and LEGO rather than action figures)”
    • give distance between you and kids
    • let kids take appropriate risks and deal with consequences
  2. Life skills:(longer list in book)
    - by 3 years, kid should:
    - by 5 years, kid should
    - by 7 years, kid can
    - by 9 years, kid should:
    - by 13 years, kid should:
    - by 18, kid should:
  3. teach kids to think for themselves:
    • elementary: ask “why” questions, other reasons/possibilities?
    • middle: ask what they enjoyed about school (and why), what not and why?
    • high: what did you enjoy? why? what makes that interesting ?
    • discuss controversial topic with kids,
    • help them speak up for themselves with strangers/authority.
  4. prepare for hard work / work ethic:
    • start chores at 3 years old / toddlers: help with chores: dusting, laundry help / elementary: bring in groceries, clean up spills / middle schoolers: wash car, shovel snow, rake leaves, pick up stuff from the store / high schoolder: clean kitchen, help organize house,
    • expect kids’ help, straightforward instructions, give thanks and feedback, make it routine
  5. developing purpose:
    • let long-term goals and purpose become motivator (not parent, not grades, not getting into college)
    • let kids make choices, take risks and make mistakes
    • help kids learn from experience, combat perfectionism
    • notice good and comment on it
    • authentic feedback and criticism (criticize action, don’t place blame)
    • be good model yourself
  6. some things child should experience by 18 (longer list in book)

  7. look at schools other than “the top”
    • be realistic about the odds
    • princeton review (student opinion)
    • The Alumni Factor (which small colleges allow healthy development, good financial prospects as grads)
    • let the kid decide
  8. shifts in childhood in the past 20-30 years:
    • media spread fear of abduction/injury/death
    • falling behind competition (e.g. from other countries)
    • self-esteem movement (e.g. everyone gets a trophy for existing)
    • emergence of playdates (vs child-initiated, spontaneous free play)
  9. Symptoms of the social shifts on college kids, graduate students, even employed adults:
    • increasingly dependent on parents to advocate , help them make decisions, deal with uncertainty, provide motivation and path
    • without purpose
    • unable to cope with and overcome adversity of any kind
    • feel entitled to advancement, promotion, success without really trying
    • lacking basic life skills (e.g. out of bed in time)
    • mentally weak: college students stressed out, feel no control, can’t handle failure (or success), unable to deviate from parents’ chosen path
    • parents stressed out too!
  10. some relevant “bad” going-on phenomena:
    • fear of abduction
    • allowing children independence, autonomy, going out alone is now criminalized at times
    • trying to create opportunities, give advantage to kids
    • some “parents” doing all the life skills work for kids, fixing their problems, dealing with other adults on behalf of adult children
    • parents doing homework
    • “college admissions is broken”? / estimated 1/4 of college applicants have used a private tutor or college consultant
    • many parents “game” ADHD diagnosis to get an unfair advantage for a non-affected student / ADHD recreational drug use off prescription (particularly in East Coast and boarding schools)

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