Family Life

Inside Out 320: Avoiding Helicopter Parenting

We’ve heard a lot about “helicopter parenting,” when a Mom and Dad--accustomed to structuring a child’s life--continue to “hover” long-distance when he heads to college. The horror stories of parental over-involvement include dads phoning professors to challenge the grade on an assignment, and moms who call their children daily to wake them in time for class.

Parenting is hard work. It may seem unfair that parents need to back away from using so many of the skills they’ve developed over the first 18 years of their children’s lives. But it’s no news flash that the goal of parenting is to launch the child. The level of control and direction that helped keep a four year-old safe undermines a college student’s development into a fully mature adult.

Join us for this conversation that’s just in time for some reflection before college kids return for Thanksgiving. Our guest is Dr. Michael Lastoria, the Director of Counseling Services at western New York’s Houghton College. He talks about the transition parents face when their children leave, and how they can help their children mature by giving them space to make their own decisions.

“What we must remember is that I cannot make my child be me,” Lastoria says. “I have to allow them to separate. And I think that takes a measure of faith. I don’t think what parents are up against—I don‘t think it’s an easy thing to do. But I think it’s an important thing to have that faith.”

Click on the LISTEN or DOWNLOAD icon above to hear the 25 minute conversation.

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