Hello, today's teenagers. I know you don't remember this, but back when you were three months old, you likely began showing self-soothing behaviors — that is, you began learning how to calm down, relax and go to sleep again in your bed.
By the time you were six months old, your parents were actively encouraging you to self-soothe, as this is around the time you could make it through the night without needing to be fed.
And I'll bet you were crushing it!
Almost everyone who participates in teen travel tours, service trips, and summer abroad programs... is a girl.
I know it's only June... but I think I'm ready to hand out my mother of the year award. Kirstie Allsopp, this trophy's for you!
Earlier this week, Allsopp told the Sun newspaper that she and her partner sometimes sit in the business class cabin, while her children, 10 and 12, sit in economy.
Of course, the rage machine that is social media immediately lurched into action... but rather than apologize for something she shouldn't be sorry for, she defended her personal parenting decisions.
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.
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.
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.
I was recently asked what I, as a feminist, thought of the web comic, "You should've asked." My answer is that there was a lot I liked, and a little I didn't. My favorite takeaway is that men aren't perfect and have a lot to learn -- but neither are women, and so do they!
In other words, people are flawed. We can all do better.
Kids these days -- amirite?
No, but actually. For real. Kids these days are more sensitive and fragile than kids of the past. Even according to the president of an elite university that I spoke with recently, “Today’s college students are not like you.”
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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