Apparently, it's that time of year again. I know this not because I've seen Girl Scouts out and about, actively developing business, social, and communication skills... but because I've seen parents posting links on their Facebook accounts.
All I can say is, "DON'T DO IT."
Mounting evidence shows that over-supervising and over-scheduling your child stunts their emotional and cognitive development. But now we know it stunts their physical development, too.
It was simple, really.
With the exception of one small (err, actually kind of major) thing (see also: Phillips Exeter Faculty Lie to Sexual Assault Victim, Tell Her She Wasn't Assaulted), I totally love my high school. I mean, come on! Our classes took place around a Harkness table -- we constantly debated, discussed, and learned from each other. It was a totally epic learning experience.
But that didn't stop one of the most ridiculous Facebook conversations ever from happening on the alumni page this week.
As the young folks like to say, "YASSSSS!"
As a college counselor and life coach for gifted teenagers, a social scientist who values the scientific method and the quest for truth, and simply a concerned citizen, I have watched with growing alarm as American universities have spiraled out of control.
After Berkeley announced it had literally installed escape hatches so administrators could stay safe during violent student protests and Evergreen State College was shut down when police could no longer assure public safety, I knew that something would have to change.
"Hey! You want to try and see the meteor shower this weekend?"
Umm, no. But I'll try to see it. Or, maybe, I'll even try seeing it.
You're entitled to your own opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts. Which is why I'm taking the time to point out some of the reasons that words are not violence -- and that there is truth to the old rhyme, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me."
"It is a happy talent to know how to play," Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. And, unlike many well-known adages that were later proven wrong ("money can't buy happiness"; "don't compare yourself to others"; "don't praise your daughter's looks"), Emerson was exactly right.
Playfulness is a skill -- not a trait. Yet, because of changes in parenting styles and culture, many children no longer learn how to play.
In fact, thanks to helicopter parenting, children are no longer learning a lot of things.
See that girl with the laurel leaves in her hair? That's me, on graduation day, getting ready to walk across the stage and receive my Classical Diploma from Phillips Exeter Academy.
(Okay -- FINE. They're not laurel leaves. They're the kind of leaves that grow on the side of Langdell Hall, because no one told me you had to ORDER your crown before graduation. I mean... it's not like I had to order my diploma!)
My Classical Diploma means that I took four years of Latin and a year of ancient Greek. It means I know things. Like why it's so ridiculous that half my friends spell ridiculous with an -e.
As feminists, we have to be able to speak honestly about patriarchal systems, and religion is no exception.
I wrote in a recent post that one of the best things in life is basketball. But another one of my favorite things... is critical thought. Debate. Confronting ideas that may be uncomfortable.
Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, I hope we can all agree that no idea, ideology, or religion should be exempt from skepticism.
Which is why I'm so stoked to share this amazing guest post by Shruthi Sailesh, who studies biotechnology and economics at the University of Waterloo. She enjoys debating and writing about politics, feminism, and literature. For more of her writing, follow her on Quora.
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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