Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Parents' Choices Lead to Children Who Can't Cope, Author Says ; YOUTH RESOURCES

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Parents' Choices Lead to Children Who Can't Cope, Author Says ; YOUTH RESOURCES

Article excerpt

Developing student leaders is my passion at Youth Resources. As a 12-year veteran in the field of youth work I have read and researched many aspects and best practices of developing student leaders. I recently read a Forbes Magazine article that caught my attention. Forbes conducted an interview with Dr. Tim Elmore addressing how we, as parents, are failing our children today and keeping them from becoming leaders they are destined to be.

Elmore is a favorite author of the Youth Resources staff and best-selling author of more than 25 books, including our favorite, "Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future."

In his interview with Forbes, Elmore shared the following seven damaging parent behaviors that are keeping children from growing into leaders

1. We don't let our children experience risk. We live in a world that warns us of danger at every turn. The "safety first" preoccupation enforces our fear of losing our kids, so we do everything we can to protect them. It's our job after all, but we have insulated them from healthy risk-taking behavior and it has had an adverse effect. If parents remove risk from children's lives, we likely will experience high arrogance and low self- esteem in our growing leaders.

2. We rescue too quickly. Today's generation of young people has not developed some of the life skills kids did 30 years ago because adults swoop in and take care of problems for them. When we rescue too quickly and overindulge our children with "assistance," we remove the need for them to navigate hardships and solve problems on their own.

3. We rave too easily. The self-esteem movement has been around since baby boomers were kids, but it took root in our school systems in the 1980s. Attend a Little League Baseball game and you'll see that everyone is a winner. This "everyone gets a trophy" mentality might make our kids feel special, but research is now indicating this method has unintended consequences. Kids eventually observe that Mom and Dad are the only ones who think they're awesome when no one else is saying it. They begin to doubt the objectivity of their parents; it feels good in the moment to praise, but it's not connected to reality. When we rave too easily and disregard poor behavior, children eventually learn to cheat, exaggerate and lie to avoid difficult reality. They have not been conditioned to face it.

4. We let guilt get in the way of leading well. …

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