Teachers and parents hold students hands so much, we never get the chance to grab on to our own lives.
If you forget your homework, no worries: your mom will run it down to school. If you don’t remember what to study, no worries: your teacher usually puts it on Moodle, shares it via Google Drive and even sends you text reminders.
With helicopter parents to clean up any mess, teachers forced to stroke the ego of every student and coaches giving awards for just showing up, we are the most coddled generation ever known. If we fall, someone is always there to pick us up immediately. If we fail a test, there is always a tutor at hand to help us raise our grade. But is all this help truly helping us?
By never being allowed to stumble, by never being allowed to fail, our generation isn’t learning the skills necessary to wade our way through real life. How do we learn how to succeed, if we are never given the chance to fail? Adults and students need to remember that it is only through failure that one can gain the necessary skills to succeed.
If I call my mom to bring me lunch, and she runs right down with it, that means I never go hungry. But if my mom says, “You forgot your lunch. That is your problem,” then guess what? I feel the pain of hunger and remember that pain, and next time I don’t forget my lunch.
If I forget my homework, and my mom brings it down for me, than I am saved, yet again. But if she says, “No, I won’t bring your homework to school,” and my grade goes down, I will probably cry tears of frustration. I also won’t forget my homework next time.
According to the Department of Transportation, the number of elementary and middle schoolers who walked or biked to school dropped from 48 percent to 13 percent between 1969 and 2009. The reason cited is over-protective parents, or parents basically shepherding their children to every event and never letting them out of their sight.
The irony is that all of this overprotection isn’t healthy for growth.
As Business Insider stated, “Decades of research into what allows children to become successful and stable has revealed that autonomy is a defining factor. A young human needs to feel a degree of free agency in the way they navigate the world, otherwise they won’t have the opportunity to become self-reliant or to develop the ‘grit’ that’s so closely associated with achievement.”
Mark Stilwell Sr. / May 22, 2015
Really good article, Carly. Both well-written and well-reasoned. You will do well in life with such a good head on your shoulders. Best of luck at Northeastern. Sincerely, Mark Stilwell Sr.