How to Gather the Courage to Raise an Adult.

I received a free copy of this book for review, but I was not otherwise compensated. All opinions are so very my own!

And stay tuned at the end of the post for a giveaway to win a copy of this book.

And, what a book this was! I devoured it over the weekend with both kids at their grandparent’s house for two nights. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction (unless it’s blogs, photography magazines, or super awesome memoirs) but once I started, I couldn’t put it down. The book? How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success.

parenting book

As a parent of young kids, I found the book to be as useful as I imagine it is for the parents of teens or young adults because the book sets forth problems happening with today’s young adults, and then backs those problems up with age-appropriate solutions to set forth or celebrate (if we already do them) in our parenting. We parent out of love and we think we’re doing what’s best for them, but are we stopping our kids from reaching their potentials by over-protecting and overworking them? With safety fears, a college admissions race and our own egos on the line, are we actually doing right by our kids?

Are we raising kids, or are we raising kids to be adults?

raising adults

Childhood today is safe, scheduled and going according to plan. In some ways that is necessary – such as stricter car seat and bike helmet laws to prevent fatal car and bicycle accidents, but on the other hand, are our worries about the world and the economy preventing us from teaching our children important life skills? More and more psychologists, universities and workplaces are reporting that today’s young adults don’t know how to ask for help and directions, cook, clean, and navigate the towns and cities and other parts of our world. Are they making their own decisions? Are they dreaming their own dreams?

More and more psychologists, universities and workplaces are reporting more anxiety and depression than years previously.

With kids more depressed, anxious and stressed than ever, what have we been doing to get them this way?

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To be fair, I’m remembering being older than two and five – the ages that my children are – but I remember being free to roam our neighborhood on foot or with my bike, all day long. I wore a helmet on my bike, and I wore sunscreen and bug spray. I learned how to cross the street, how to stop, drop and roll in case of fire (do they still do that?) and how to find appropriate strangers to ask for help, in appropriate situations. By kindergarten, I boarded the big yellow bus, found a seat (with no seatbelt!) and went down the slippery hill to school. In reading this book, I thought of the ways I could cause psychological harm for continuing to do for my kids what they can or almost can do for themselves. And I thought of the ways I can fix this.

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We have dreams for our children, of course, but we must not shape the way they dream.

Not only are today’s young adults more depressed and anxious than before, parents are too. In a world of incessant information and bad news, with fears of climate change and conventional strawberries instead of organic, and with marriage hanging in the balance. I have a relative who taught first grade for 12 years, and has seen kids getting more stressed. My mom owns an art school and has seen a skyrocketing number of parents who stay in art class and hover. They used to drop the kids off and run! Even if the parents do trust my mom to do her job and teach their children, some of them admit to feeling lost. They have nowhere to go without their kids, nor do they want that free time. As outlandish as that sounds to me, I’m guilty of it too! I could have signed up Scarlet to take the school bus but I haven’t been able to let go. She’s the second smallest kid in school and I see her with her big backpack and her big eyes and her cute face and I can’t turn away.

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It doesn’t have to hurt all at once. It doesn’t even have to be fast, but I do have to teach her to get herself on and off a bus for school, because I know she is capable of doing so. Maybe even more capable than I have been!

How do we prevent disaster and protect them, while teaching kids the skills they need?

Childhood is the training ground for adulthood, but our children won’t learn life skills if we keep padding and paving the way for them, and overworking, overbooking and overpraising them too. It’s a delicate balance of letting in and letting go.

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There’s one story in the book that struck me about parents seeking advice for their daughter who loves to write. They asked, “What can we do with this? How can we get her to enter writing contests when she doesn’t seem interested?” And the advice given was so simple and wonderful: “She loves to write? Great! Leave her alone! Let her write! Provide opportunities that fit your kid, rather than trying to make your kid fit the notion of who or how they should be.” That really stuck with me.

How can you help prepare your child for adulthood, slowly but surely? Safely but independently as well?

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Read the book!

It will tell you all about how much play matters. Value free play and know your kid. Model play too. Teach life skills at appropriate ages – small chores, basic grooming, memorizing important names and phone numbers, feeding pets, and taking on more complex chores. Learning the value of money, and learning how to help with the laundry. You can teach them basic cooking techniques, and taking pride in their personal belongings. You can eventually teach them about staying home alone, and then.. putting gas in the car, interviewing for jobs, the sky is the limit! How do we get there? It’s a series of steps. They learn from us and we learn from them. Talk to your kids and ask them questions in details. Teach them to problem solve.

Let them speak up for themselves.

Stop thinking of them as any particular thing – like a doctor or lawyer. Listen for clues as to who they are and lead them towards promising options. Be interested and helpful, but prepare them for hard work. The best thing you can do is allow your kids to be creative and experimental, and to follow their bliss.

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Ultimately you will also have to look after yourself, and reclaim yourself. Prioritize your health and wellness. Make time for important relationships. Interrogate your relationship with money. Practice kindness and gratitude. Your kid doesn’t need a superhero..

They need you.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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  1. This book sounds awesome! From your post, I think maybe we haven’t screwed our teenager too bad after all. He’s learning to cook full meals, has a list of chores at his dad’s house and mine, and we’ve been trying to work on the value of working for extra money by offering payment for some of the bigger chores like washing the car or pulling weeds. Still, I think I can learn even more from this book, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the giveaway!!

    FYI The first link for Odd Mom Out doesn’t work, it doesn’t actually go anywhere. Same for the video. I commented that in the boxes provided, but that gave me entries, so I don’t know if that was right… Anyhow, I thought you should know.

    Thanks for sharing this book and opportunity with us 🙂

    1. Thanks for the FYI! I had no idea what I was doing but I fixed it. No worries to come back. You’re totally entered either way. I’m not strict!
      I bet your teenager is as wonderful as you are.

  2. Awesome post! I totally get it and it is so true! Lil miss is an artist, but while I have provided the tools for her to use, she is cultivating her art on her own. With her, I am a bit of a hoverer, meaning I don’t let her venture like I did, on her own. But of course there are creepos at every turn, that is a hard one to let go of. D-man learned to cook for himself, thanks to my mom, and he listened to our advice about money issues, and I am proud of who he has become. Lil man, gets to venture out for camps and retreats on his own, and I am including the survival skills as part of homeschooling…cooking, cleaning, and those types of needful things. But it sure is hard to let them go! I still text D-man every few days, if for no other reason than to tell him that I love him! 🙂 Have a great week!

    1. I always had the interest in writing and photography, and my parents were pretty cool about it! Helpful and supportive, but not pressuring. Years later I would discover it again. Who knew? I always think about that with my kids!
      I don’t think you need to let them go. I think texts are wonderful. I mean, I had a college roommate who had to talk to her mom six times a day, including early morning. Like 5:00am. Now THAT was overkill.

      1. LOL! Now, I will text him at all hours of the day, but he gets up about 5:30 or 6 in the morning during the week, so I know he will text back before he goes to work. On the weekends, he is a night owl like me and up till the wee hours…those are the funny ones though, especially if he has had a few drinks! LOL! No I will probably never let them go completely! 😉 LOL! They will always be my babies!

        1. I think it’s really great that you two are so close. It should be like that. Honestly. The book definitely honors that.
          Always our babies. So much!

  3. This is one of my favorite subjects, Tamara. Nicely written review! This book sounds wonderful but my kids are in their 20’s now and well into their own. I always subscribed to ‘do for yourself’ with my kids and I think sometimes other moms found me ‘strange’ but I always stood by giving lots of hugs and support but letting them figure things out themselves. I still do. They rode the bus, too. 🙂 and they made it out alive LOL. I think this hover parenting comes from excellent intentions. Hovering and doing for our little ones feels like an expression of love until it crosses that line and becomes a handicap. It’s a balancing act as you point out. Great post, Tamara!!

    1. I’m such a “do for yourself” parent. I wonder if others find me strange! I tend to hang out with others like me, but some of my friends are hoverers too and then I worry if they think I’m doing too little! I doubt it, though.
      Your kids are pretty well off with you for a mother!

  4. Definitely sounds like a great book, because you are so right we are seriously just raising our kids to be adults someday – I mean it is an inevitable. So definitely helps when you have some advice in the form of a book like this. Totally have to check out and thank you, Tamara!! 🙂

  5. I’m still figuring things out…despite already having 3 in college/university and 2 in high school. Our 12 yr old has a way more relaxed mom than his oldest sibling did 🙂

    1. I think we probably are always still figuring it out as parents. Ask my parents how they still have to parent their thirty-somethings sometimes!!

  6. I grew up in an area that no one lived other than family so I could roam free and wild but my kids don’t have that luxury. I do however try to make them do things for themselves. I am also working to make sure they get the chance to figure out who they are and what they want to be. Sounds like a great book. I am going to have to check it out!

    1. I think you do things wonderfully. When I was reading the book, I could definitely say I saw that these trends were happening, but not really within my friends and peers!

  7. Oh, I need to order this book. Just the other day I got frustrated when my 14 year-old asked me to make him lunch (on a Saturday). I was running around getting ready for a trip…I just looked at him, dumfounded. AT fourteen – I was COOKING! On the stove! My mother did not make my lunch or breakfast. Yes, that was extreme, but man, I have gone to the other end. I’ll spare you my rant, but Hunter ended up making himself a sandwich.

    1. I was cooking too.. but not really well. Oh well! I tried. I was doing laundry by 13 easily. My parents had five kids and got pretty sick of five teens and pre-teens whining about laundry not being done in a timely fashion!
      Making a sandwich is a life skill too!

  8. I think if I knew how to be an adult, I’d have a better idea how to raise one. As it is, I can teach them only inquisition and mischief, wonderer and dreamer, trust and love. All those by example, if I can get it right.

    I see value in listening, too. Just really listening. Knowing when to take the lead, and when to follow.

    1. I’m in a similar boat. I swear I used to be an adult.. in my 20’s. I seem to have regressed, though. I know that spirit is still in me. And I’m talking the fun kind of adulting – like traveling alone and eating breakfast in a random town in Maine.

  9. The title of the book is fabulous, and that topic is in the forefront in my mind these days. Just yesterday, I told James to wash out his thermos. I don’t think I ever showed him how to properly wash dishes. Sounds silly, but as my kids approach the time when they are living on their own, these small things bombard me. Turns out he learned in FACS (what they used to call home ec) – I think laundry is our next lesson!

    1. I learned laundry when I was 13. It’s a good skill!
      And for many things, I haven’t done them well.. until I met Cassidy. Mr. Bachelor for 13 years, cooks and cleans like an ace!

  10. This book sounds fascinating! The story about the kid who likes to write is so interesting because it is so rare that kids (or even adults) are left on their own to see where their interest takes them.

    1. I loved that story! I think my parents took a similar approach with my photography and I have to say that it paid off. I’ve always loved it and it wound up being the no-brainer choice for my career.

  11. Oh, I’m not an overparenter by far. I think this book sounds wonderful. Right as we speak, my 11yo and 3yo are outside playing alone (but together), and I’m inside cleaning. We’ve had talks and sometimes I supervise, especially if Butterfly is outside. I would do it more often, but it’s no fun if you can’t occasionally come across other kids sometimes.

    1. My kids were playing outside together earlier while I caught up on emails! I love it. I can see and hear them but they have each other and they are growing together. It’s so good!

  12. There is so much pressure on kids these days, it is no wonder there is more anxiety and depression. With the added media outlets online and on TV it’s hard for them to just grow on their own into who they are meant to be. Looks like a good book.

    1. It’s definitely a good food for thought book! I enjoyed it, but it didn’t make me panic about my parenting either, so that’s good.
      I get upset when my daughter feels pressure to read at school. She’s five!

    1. Nice catching up! I always admire when that happens.
      It’s definitely a concern of mine too.. I’m trying to take it in stride but that’s impossible.

  13. I have a 23 and a 15 year old, but I am always up to learn how to be a better mom. Always. These are the two best things I had a hand in creating and the most important! Plus, they will be the parents of my grandchildren, I hope that I am a good teacher to them so they learn to be great parents. Thanks so much for the opportunity! xo

    1. Oh, you’re smack in the middle of it, really. A teen and a young adult! I hope you win the book! If not, I’ll send it to you. It’s that good.

  14. The first entry (blog entry) asked me to visit the mom’s night out FB page- well kinda, it had a “!” but when I removed it to took me there… No big deal just wanted you to know! Silly rafflecopters! I need this book Tamara! If I am not lucky, I am adding it to my list of reads! xoxoxox

    1. That was totally me. I added the “!” to be excitable but I removed it so thank you for the heads up! ha! It was me and not rafflecopter!
      I hope you win!

  15. This –> “We parent out of love and we think we’re doing what’s best for them, but are we stopping our kids from reaching their potentials by over-protecting and overworking them?” I worry and think about that a lot. I want my kids to have the joy of discovering things in childhood, not things that I deem appropriate for them to discover. But that also means that I have to step back a lot more!

    1. I hear you! My kids are interesting for sure. So independent sometimes and so dependent other times. And I kinda love it because.. I want them to be babies for a long time!
      So I guess the problem is me!

  16. Ooooh…. this sounds really really good! I think it is such an important message to really truly teach today’s parents… it’s about the end game!!! We need to start letting go from the moment our babies come out of us… the goal is to have them be able to be on their OWN. As hard as it is to slowly unhitch little by little and teach them how to live in this world… setting them free step by baby step. We must. We are feeding dependency, if we don’t. We are not loving them enough, if we don’t let them go.

    I’d love to read this book!!

    1. It’s so different with other mammals too! And even in other cultures. Always interesting!
      I hope you entered to win the book!

  17. This sounds like such a great book. When my boys were little I thought that parenting couldn’t get any harder – how wrong I was! Now that my boys are 20 and 17 the decisions seem so much heavier. We have tried really hard to let the boys be themselves – to not project our own hopes and dreams on them – and to follow their passion. But trust me, it’s easier said than done.

    1. I always think about how it can be so hard now, but that it seems to get harder! The problems get bigger with bigger consequences! Help!

  18. My parents were not really around when I was younger. They were always working and instead my siblings and I were raised by babysitters. That being said, my parents were obviously NOT helicopter parents and in fact, when they did hang out with us (my siblings and I) they always instilled very realistic notions in our minds. My parents are not like other parents and when I was younger I used to be so ANGRY about how my parents did not BABY us like other parents did, however… I couldn’t appreciate the fact that my parents NEVER babied us these days! I am so very realistic when it comes to EVERY THING and I know how to take care of myself! So I think a hands off approach, where the child can learn things for themselves is a great approach.

        1. Aww! I can’t wait for my sisters to be moms. I’m going to eat their cute babies!
          Do you know if your sister is having a girl or boy?

            1. I’m definitely a baby eater! It just happens!
              Also. A girl!! I mean, I’m authorized to tell you they’re both awesome but you’re going to be such an important part of this little girl’s life! So important!

  19. I know I was guilty of a lot of this when my kids were growing up. I thought it was my job to hover, but I could have let go more. What I find, though, is that now I just open the door and want them to fly and do it all themselves, which is sort of a leap. Fortunately, they are rising to the challenge… but when things get rough, they always have their “texter” (aka phone) to ask for help. But at least it is progress to wait for them to ask…

    1. It’s nice to know they can always ask for help, and receive it. That seems to be so key – whether they’re shuffling out the door or leaping!

  20. This is definitely something I struggle with, even though Eve isn’t yet 2! I feel like we live in a world where moms are expected to hover over their children when they’re out and about. Honestly, I go to the playground and let Eve do her own thing for the most part. I of course keep and eye on her, but sometimes I feel guilty that I’m not interacting with her more or worry that other moms are judging me for not. But she’s happy doing her own thing, and I have to remind myself that I’m teaching her a valuable skill of learning to play and entertain herself. I love spending time with her, but I look forward to the day when she’s old enough to do something like an art class by herself. I remember my mom dropping me off at activities as young as when I was 6 and being totally cool with that, and I was a very shy child. If anything I think that would have just made me even shyer if my mom had stuck around.

    I also want to let Eve walk down the street to her playground or school by herself as she gets older, but I’m not sure if society will let me. I’m more worried about someone calling child protective services than something happening to her. I walked to school by myself starting in 1st grade or so and it was a much farther walk than Eve will when she starts elementary school, but it seems to be out of style now. So sad! Anyway, I want to read this book, it totally sounds up my alley.

    And yes, thanks to you, I’ve heard of Odd Mom Out 😉

    1. I totally get it about being more worried about someone calling the cops than actually letting our kids gain age-appropriate independence. There is such a thing as too much info! Social media will have us believing crimes are happening left and right, but statistics show it’s not the case! I hope that trend downward spirals some more!

  21. Hi Tamara, what a wonderfully, sensible book! Children these days do lead too planned a life, so much so that many of them are missing out on the simple pleasures in life. As parents we are here to guide are children and prepare them for life in the big, bad world, but they will never be fully prepared if parents don’t let them think or learn for themselves.

    We should allow our children to discover what they enjoy by trying new things. It is vital that we give them a certain amount of freedom (age dependant) to learn how to be independent.

    1. It’s such an interesting balance! To keep them safe and secure but also let them fly free. I see why it happens in small steps. I’m really bad at letting go but my kids have independent spirits and I’d be stunting them emotionally if I didn’t honor it!
      Thank you!

  22. I want to read this book. I’m such a helicopter mom. I have a hard time letting my kids go out on their own. I use to go out into my neighborhood all the time by myself when I was my son’s age. However, I don’t even let him play out in the backyard alone. I’ve been trying to teach them life skills. They recently learned how to help out with the laundry. I want to start letting my son hand wash some of the dishes soon. I’m going to be on the look out for this book because it sounds like a great read.

    1. It’s so hard, Sonya! I do get it. I have ways in which I let them fly free and ways in which I hold them in tight. It’s really a great book! Very reasonable.

  23. My dad likes to remind me that I’m not a raising a child, but a future adult. Such an important and profound thing to remember!

  24. Yup, I’ve learned to let go better. It’s tough, but I know my kids need to figure out stuff on their own. I just want my kids to be kind people, really.

  25. Sounds like an awesome book! My almost 14 year old announced several weeks ago that he didn’t want to wait around for his Dad to pick him up (after his brother’s soccer practice) but was going to take the subway over to his Dad’s. I panicked. It’s a big city – and a stinky subway??? Do you know what stop to get off at? Where do you walk from there? How long will it take you? He had it all figured out. I knew I needed to not let my fear become his, so I smiled and said I thought it was a great idea (and screamed and cried in my head). I then told him I’d get some money for him —- and he said, “I got my own money for it already”. What?!?!? How did this happen? But I knew I needed to encourage it. He made to his Dad’s just fine. He has done it about 5 times since – and it has seriously increased his independence and confidence. It was hard ( for me), but necessary. Of course, now he takes the money when I offer it!! We have to allow our kids space to grow…. it is hard, but it’s the only way we can really prepare them for life.

    1. Aww.. big cities and stinky subways definitely scare even ME, but more than they did when I was young. So.. there’s that.
      He sounds so mature! And not surprisingly!

  26. I think I babied my son too much when he was little lol – my daughter is pretty independent and wanted to do more on her own. I think it depends on the kid’s personality too.- sounds like a good book 🙂

  27. That sounds like my kind of book! Thankfully my kids are fiercely independent. T wishes she could ride the bus to school; even though there is no bus to her school. The challenge is helping them maintain their independence even with the expectations of overprinting in today’s society. Thanks for the review and recommendation!

    1. Wow, we have the opposite problem. Scarlet doesn’t want to ride the bus but there definitely is one! She said she’ll ride it when Des rides it. Sigh.

  28. This sounds like a fabulous book, I would devour it too! I wake up in a cold sweat some times, worried that I have screwed my kids up good with my parenting mishaps. I have been working lately on free ranging a little more and making them do more, so that my life and theirs is easier and better. I still worry, but I decided to do that out of necessity. I am glad to hear that there is science and wisdom behind my most recent plan. Hopefully it doesn’t cause too many nights of cold sweat panics 🙂

    1. Aw.. I know that cold sweat well. And you have the double the kids! Although I’d love another one or two, I have to wonder if it would ramp up my mother anxiety. Or just totally mellow it out!

  29. I’m intrigued Tamara! This sounds like my kind of book. I love that you admit your own shortcomings too. I know I’m still somewhat scared, the type that won’t let her kids walk home from school until who knows what age. Still, I agree with what most of the book seems to advice, such as giving plenty of free time, letting them be independent, be self-sufficient, not labeling, and truly raising adults. One of my blog posts from back in the day was all about our number one job, which to me is raising future adults.

    1. I’m totally scared too. I imagine I always will be, but hopefully will let go a bit better when they’re older.
      It’s a great book and I definitely recommend it!

  30. I so agree with this. I’m always having to remind myself of this. I’m not a helicopter mom, but I am home schooling, so they never get a break from me. However, I have always been big on making them do for themselves. I also believe in letting the big kids play outside without me, even when I can’t see them. These are thing that depend on the trustworthy level of the child. Some kids can handle some freedom at 7, and some can’t.

    1. I was just reading an article about homeschooling and it was talking about implementing quiet time and independent study time in the day and I had never looked at it that way. So it’s pretty cool!

  31. I am big on letting my kids be independent (as much as I can). I always keep a watchful eye, though – just from the background sometimes.

  32. This is such a great post! And this sounds like a book I definitely need to read! I try to let my kids be as independent as possible as well- I don’t hover, but I do keep an eye on them more than anyone kept an eye on my when I was the same age as my older ones.

    1. I totally agree. My parents had five so I doubt they were scrutinizing all five of us! I think I keep a closer eye on my two kids.

  33. I feel like my kids are the perfect ages for me to read this book. It’s amazing to me, with three so close in age, what one can do but another has no clue. Two of ours are interested in cooking, the third called Greg last week asking how to boil water. We still can’t believe that question – boil water? Anyway, it’s important, I feel it’s important to take the step back and let them figure some things out for themselves even as we are gently/subtly teaching them huge life skills. Huge and basic.

    1. That is so weird. Same parents, though! I guess kids are just born so differently!
      Boiling water?! I hope he/she learned that day!

  34. This sounds interesting. I am intrigued by the title. I think it would be a great read for me. I have 6 kids and am parent less myself, so I hope I’m doing it as best I can… I’m going to have to check this out.

  35. i hope i’m not a helicopter parent! i try not to be. obviously i only have one so i’m still not sure how much is too much. the other day, franco was tip-toeing on the edge of something and i kinda left him alone thinking, that’s what i should do…just leave the kid alone to figure things out. but my husband was like, “what are you doing? he might fall!” then i told him that we need to just let him figure things out and dean said, “but he’s still a baby. when he’s not a baby, sure, but he’s still a baby!”

    1. So interesting about you and Dean and that moment! Parenting is a lot of those moments, I find. Marriage too! I’m totally like you, though. I never really freaked out about the kids. Maybe I should have more but they’re cautious by nature so my job was a bit easier.

  36. I think about this alot…knowing when to shelter my little one and when to just let her do her own thing. My husband and I talk about it too. I’m definitely going to buy this book and make it required reading for hubby and I.

  37. sounds like a great book . . . my kids will be able to cook, clean and navigate through to adult hood – – but my kid will not be navigating through the streets of chicago for awhile yet – I really don’t want to go to jail for that one.

  38. I so agree with you… it’s a delicate balance, indeed. It’s one I struggle with, especially since people are so quick to call “authorities” for children they feel are being “neglected” (allowed freedom… a 7 year old at a park a block away from home isn’t being neglected!) and those authorities always seem to view parents as guilty until proven innocent.

    I always have adulthood in mind (without “pigeonholing” my kids into what they might grow up to be/do) but it’s definitely a different sort of childhood than we had 30 years ago.

  39. I need to be reading this book. I have found that letting my kids be kids have been one of the things that I tend to do and now I have no regrets. I do know that play is vital when it comes to kids and while sometimes I wish they were older I’m glad that they’re young and want to be home with me. I don’t baby my kids and its something a lot of parents do. I know a few people who can learn a thing or two from this book.

  40. This sounds like a fantastic book, and a concept some people seem to forget. Yes, kids will be kids and should be allowed to BE kids, but we mustn’t forget they will only spend 18 years being kids and then the rest of their lives they will be adults. We need to make sure they are responsible citizens of the world!

  41. Sounds like an awesome book. I know it is easy for me to say (in a way), but from all my blog reading I have been wondering about the very same thing, you know, ‘overprotecting kids’, and how their lives seem to be on a strict schedule rushing here and there with no time to ‘just be a kid’. Like you said you were. I was, too. I am sure it is hard to let go (just seeing the process in my nieces and nephews was… interesting), to let them make their own mistakes and learn from them, but at some point you better do. I can tell you will, slowly, but surely.

  42. I have to say, I Love the idea of this book! I love it mostly because it sounds so in line with my thinking and our beliefs about raising our children. We let Baby Boy roam and run and play and problem solve and ask for help and try to help and otherwise learn life! It may seem strange to some that at just barely over 2, Baby Boy can use a screwdriver, “use” a hammer, knows the different tools that Hun or I sometimes use, understands if I’m ‘talking/doing buainess/work’, can manipulate objects, sort puzzles pretty quickly, kind of dress himself, and so much more. His vocabulary is incredibLe for his age, so is his diction, and sentence structure. He understands the world around him and it amazes both Hun and I all.the.time. sometimes he even shocks us with something good he’s figured out we didn’t even know he was able, like recently saying that Hun’s name is “Papa [last name]”.

    I love watching and experiencing Baby Boy’s sense of adventure and how he incorporates everything into living. I’m glad to know that there are books available for others to read and learn tips from in this way 🙂

  43. I think I need this book in my life. You explained this so well. And I agree with every point you said. I don’t want to be the “overparenting” mom. Truthfully, I called my husband from work to ask how Reiko was on his first day of school and he said he left him there and my heart raced upon hearing it. He left him?! But he said Reiko was fine and he behaved. Apparently, my husband’s better in this aspect. I can learn that too.

  44. I’m so glad you reviewed this book, I really want to read it. I do not overparent. I get criticized, quire often, for letting my kids be free. I am not big on parenting books but this one sounds super interesting.

  45. I saw a quote once and I think it’s the best description about raising kids – because I am always very aware that I am raising them To Leave Me one day: you give them roots to stand, and wings to fly. Now…. as to the actual application of that, granted – we probably all struggle. but I think it is a brilliant concept.

    I always got side looks when I did the drop and run – like, what – you don’t love your kid enough to stay and soak up all the experience with them? No – I love them enough to teach them how to soak it up without me, and them come home and tell me all about it over root beer floats. duh. 🙂

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