Why Parents Need To Stop Coddling Their Children

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Why Parents Need To Stop Coddling Their Children

Caitlin Gorbett, Staff Writer

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My mom used to be terrified to let me leave the house since It has been just the two of us since 2006. Even when we were living with friends or my grandparents, it was just us. It was obvious she would be terrified to be away from me. Now I am terrified to be alone.


I remember when I was 11 and my mom asked me to go into the gas station to get her a newspaper by myself. She had not wanted to get out of the car. Evidently, neither did I. I had a panic attack in the car thinking about having to go inside and talk to someone I did not know and stumbling over my words and not talking loud enough so I would have to repeat myself. My mom and her parents had always kept me close and I never had to talk for myself. I never had to do anything for myself.


She told me she did not want me to grow up the same way she did. Her parents sheltered her and coddled her, so when she moved out at 19 she was hit with a horrible culture shock. She did not know how to live on her own as an independent adult. 


I graduate in nine months. I want to go to college in Boston, in a different time zone from my mom and everyone I love, everything I know. No one ever told me how to find the college I want to go to, how to decide the career path I want, or how to do anything necessary for my success. They told me I was amazing and I could do anything I wanted, but I had no idea how to figure anything out.


I was not allowed to cook. I was not allowed to do laundry. I was not allowed to start my own shower. I was allowed to do my homework. I was allowed to read all the books I wanted. I was not allowed to do anything for myself, and I was not allowed to ask to learn.


Parents want their kids to be taken care of and protected and theirs for as long as possible, but they are just setting them up for failure along the road. High school graduates are moving states away from their home for college and they do not know what toothpaste to buy, how to cook, clean, or do laundry. They do not know how to live. It is not every single teen, but the number seems to be growing every year. More and more parents are sheltering and coddling their children in this toxic culture we have created where everyone gets a trophy and everyone is talented and everyone is perfect. 


We are not being taught about competition, and then suddenly we are thrown into high school where everything is a competition. Only the people who are good enough get a trophy; only those who are good enough get anything. So, we break our backs bending over backward just to be in the top 10% of those who are good enough. 


Yet the majority of students headed out of the bird’s nest are the bottom 90% and need that chance to learn now more than ever before. Adaptation is more a necessity than ever before, and parents who prohibit that vital growth are, in the long run, clipping their kids’ wings.