A recent interview with authors, parents and educators Julie Lythcott-Haims and Jessica Lahey revealed some alarming observations of the effects of over-parenting. If you don’t want to read the entire interview, skim through some of the key quotes below, and then, leave a comment.

Over-Parenting and Our Anxious Kids

“Kids are anxious, afraid and risk-averse because parents are more focused on keeping their children safe, content and happy in the moment than on parenting for competence.”

“Our kid becomes chronologically adult but still expects us to tell them what to do and how to do it, and is bewildered by the prospect of having to fend for themselves as an actual independent human.”


“We as a society so obsessed with learning as a product — grades, scores and other evidence of academic and athletic success — that we have sacrificed learning in favor of these false idols.”

“As long as we continue to worship grades over learning, scores over intellectual bravery and testable facts over the application of knowledge, kids will never believe us when we tell them that learning is valuable in and of itself.”

How should we respond?

In Parenting

“We really need to stop looking to our kids for validation. They are not extensions of us, nor indicators of our performance, and it’s unfair to saddle them with that responsibility.”

In Education

“Some schools are taking a proactive approach to this problem by trying to normalize struggle, such as the “Resilience Project” at Stanford that shows videos of professors, students and alumni talking about their own failures.”

“Stop arguing with all of the adults in our kids’ lives… teachers are under siege from over-involved parents insistent upon engineering the perfect outcomes for their kids. Principals, coaches and referees see the same thing. If there’s an issue that needs to be raised with these folks, we do best for our kids in the long run if we’ve taught them how to raise concerns on their own.”