Woman warns of consequences of overparenting
CARBONDALE, Colorado In 2004, Hara Estroff Marano wrote an article about overparenting called A Nation of Wimps for Psychology Today magazine.To illustrate the article, the editor commissioned a series of photos of children wrapped in caution tape and bubble wrap.Not long after, Marano heard a story from a couple who had been visited by friends.Upon climbing into the taxi at the airport, the couple, traveling with their toddler, asked the driver to stop at Home Depot. There, they purchased all the available bubble wrap and proceeded to wrap all the hotel-room furniture in it.These [pictures] were metaphors! Marano exclaimed in mock horror, telling the story on a recent visit to Aspen.Marano will be visiting Roaring Fork High School on Monday, Sept. 29 to provide a teacher workshop for the valleys teachers from 4-5:30 p.m. Then she will provide a parent keynote at 6:30 p.m. at the school that is open to the public.She has written the book titled A Nation of Wimps: the High Cost of Invasive Parenting.She argues it is the first book to connect the dots between overparenting and its effect on the lives of young adults. The book details how overparenting has created a generation of children who cannot solve problems or overcome adversity.Were raising a nation of wimps, states the press release for her book. An entire generation of children is getting older, but not growing up.Marano said she first came upon the subject when she was putting out a newsletter for Psychology Today in 2002. She caught wind of a high incidence of depression at some colleges, and, thinking the trend must be a Northeastern, elite, high-pressure college phenomenon, she made some inquiries.In roughly 400 interviews, she said, everyone told her more or less the same story the kids had no coping skills.So she went out to examine the phenomenon. What she found were parents more involved with their children than ever before. More than ever, she said, middle- and upper-class parents believe that the minimum criteria for maintaining middle-class status is a college education and they are determined to help their children get one.Marano argues that employers are increasingly uninterested in hiring overmanaged children. Recently, she sat next to the vice president of a major investment bank on a plane ride. The woman told her she was consistently choosing the children of first-generation immigrants over the fancy kids. That was the first time Marano heard someone make that statement, she said, but since then, shes heard it several times.If there is good news in her book, it is that the parenting solution is simple: Let kids play freely without monitoring them, she said.Adults think play is expendable, she said. [But] play is the future with sneakers on.For more information & tickets call Sarah at the Aspen Youth Center 544-4133 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit the website at http://www.aspenyouthcenter.org
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