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Helicopter parenting and college-age depression/anxiety

Recent studies suggests that kids with overinvolved parents and rigidly structured childhoods suffer psychological blowback in college.

via Helicopter parenting is increasingly correlated with college-age depression and anxiety..

My take: I see huge implications on the immediate-future workforce. The kinds of post-secondary students referenced in the book have poor executive function and critical thinking skills. What I see are larger implications for the longer-term future as these traits get passed on to the next generation. So the Slate.com article raises the question about what could be done to stem this tide.

I wasn’t raised by helicopter parents, but inherited anxiety issues left me afraid to fail for a long time.  Now, it’s a lot less of a concern because I see failure as part of the “new ideas” cycle. So many people forget that failure is also learning so we do our kids (and, by extension, our learners) a huge disservice by not allowing them to fail (safely). If you’re afraid to fail, you won’t take risks. Risk-taking is part of Innovation. Without innovation, we see people living in the “we’ve always done it that way” world and, well,  we know what that’s like.

Let’s start by enabling safe-fail environments and some reinforcement of executive function and critical thinking. We might be able to get a head-start in the workplace while the Higher Ed institutions try the same things at their end.