Why helicopter parenting backfires on kids

Childhood is an important developmental feature of being human. Helicopter parenting disrupts that.

  • "Helicopter parenting, and all of its associated forms, prevents children from exploring their emotional and intellectual landscape, and often their physical landscape as well, such that they become adults in body only," says evolutionary biologist Heather Heying.
  • Childhood is an important developmental stage that trains kids for messy, uncontrollable reality. If adults don't teach kids how to solve their own problems, or if they prevent them from experiencing harm, children become less capable adults who don't know how to deal with real injury and insult.
  • Parents can help their children by teaching them to be anti-fragile. Children grow from being exposed to ideas with which they disagree, encountering negative emotions, and engaging in activities with real-world outcomes like sport, cooking, and DIY.

This is how we end hyper-partisan politics

Want to empower social change? Break bread, literally, with the so-called enemy.

  • Alice Dreger shares brilliant advice for divisive times: Break bread, literally, with your so-called enemy. "[S]ee if [you] can have a conversation, and preferably to do it over food or drink, because there is something very primal in us about sharing food and drink that allows us, I think, to open our hearts and our minds."
  • If you're passionate about social change, Dreger recommends avoiding destructive tools or methods that would cause a kind of "arms race" in activism—it leads somewhere that no one wants to go.
  • Spend time getting to know the issues you care about from a nonpartisan perspective—do descriptive, not normative, research. It will remind you of what the other side may be seeing that you might be missing because you're blinded by your partisan side.
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