Nation of Wimps, III

Here are a few more quotes from Hara Estroff Marano’s “Nation of Wimps” (Psychology Today, 2004) . . . which expands upon the perils of helicopter parents. Are these some of the 21C students (and parents) that will be streaming through the doors on opening day?

  • What’s more, cell phones — along with the instant availability of cash and almost any consumer good your heart desires — promote fragility by weakening self-regulation. “You get used to things happening right away,” says Carducci. You not only want the pizza now, you generalize that expectation to other domains, like friendship and intimate relationships. You become frustrated and impatient easily. You become unwilling to work out problems. And so relationships fail — perhaps the single most powerful experience leading to depression.
  • While rates of depression rise with advancing age among people over 40, they’re now increasing fastest among children, striking more children at younger and younger ages.
  • What creates anxious children is parents hovering and protecting them from stressful experiences.
  • Those parents who overprotected their children — directly observed by conducting interviews in the home — brought out the worst in them.
  • Overparenting can program the nervous system to create lifelong vulnerability to anxiety and depression.
  • Those who allow their kids to find a way to deal with life’s day-to-day stresses by themselves are helping them develop resilience and coping strategies.

I guess you can tell by now—this article is not about the kids . . .

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