Attention everyone: The Happy Talent (and Paved With Verbs) is in YourTango! I recently wrote 4 Reasons A Tutor is the WORST Thing You Can Do For Your Child -- and it's all based on my master's research and experience as a college admissions counselor and life coach.
Here's the gist of it -- there are four very powerful psychological reasons why your student shouldn't have a tutor. Unless, of course, they're legitimately struggling in an academic subject and need the extra help.
1. It kills their confidence.
When you hire your child a tutor they don't need, it sends a very powerful signal: "You can't do this on your own. You need help, every step of the way."
It's because children build confidence by learning how to manipulate the world around them on their own. When you provide tutors unnecessarily, you rob them of this opportunity. Read more >
2. It teaches your child to be dependent.
Under these circumstances, the child won't learn how to be a responsible adult. So what are they going to do when they get to college? Continue having a tutor in every subject? What about after college? Are they going to get a job tutor? Read more >
3. It instills a lack of accountability and diffusion of responsibility.
Part of becoming an adult is taking accountability for your own actions. But when you have a tutor, this might never happen. When you do well on a test, you don't quite feel good about it, because it's not really a result you achieved through your own hard work; it's a result your parents paid someone to help you achieve.
4. It stunts their coping skills decreases resilience.
As a parent, one of the most important things you can do for your child's long-term mental health is to let them fail. Having a tutor gives them a shortcut.
Especially considering what "success" is going to look like in the digital age.
Want to know two more reasons unnecessary tutoring is bad for kids? This blog post contains a few "bonus tracks" that came out since I wrote the original article:
5. You should practice things like you're going to do them.
In You Won't Believe What This Cop Did After Disarming a Robber, or How to be Better at Everything, I shared a really shocking story about how, if you don't practice something like you're actually going to do it, things can go terribly, terribly wrong.
When you have a tutor walking you through every homework and every problem, you're not preparing effectively for the test or performance. When it comes time to do it on your own... you're going to fall flat on your face.
6. It eats into time your child could be spending on meaningful and engaging extracurricular pursuits.
As I wrote in Forget Defense Against the Dark Arts - Professor Moody Should Have Been a College Counselor,
Maybe APs are completely uninteresting to you because there's a pursuit that you want to spend more time on. Something academic, perhaps, like marine biology or ornithology. Or, perhaps, some obscure, non-academic pursuit. Let's pick an example a lot of high-achieving, helicopter-type parents might scoff at: fashion.
That said, say you're a well-meaning parent who wants to give your child every opportunity and help them get into the best school. What are you to do? As I wrote in the YourTango post,
What is the best investment? In my opinion, it's not a tutor — it's a life coach.
Luckily, I can help with this -- check me out on Paved With Verbs to learn more about the Life Coaching and non-academic tutoring services I offer. Or just hit me up with any questions.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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