You’re a Terrible Adult Because Your Parents Loved You Too Much

So much to think on in Lisa Miller’s New York piece on entitled versus ethical parenting, but here’s a bit that I would have underlined and circled and starred:

What parents are really telling children with their constant intervening is that there’s no way for them to succeed on their own, says Harold Koplewicz, a founder of the Child Mind Institute. “The message to the kid is, You aren’t good enough.” He compares these parents to “fixers,” who illicitly manipulate outcomes for their clients. In their effort to build their children’s success, parents may actually be short-circuiting their self-esteem, and stunting their self-efficacy, making them unable to tell the difference between the things they can accomplish in the world, with the application of hard work and native ability, and the things they cannot. Jason Stevens is somewhat blunter. A fixing parent can make a child, he says, “crippled. Or entitled. Or both.”


7 Comments / Post A Comment

Kthompson (#1,858)

I kind of get this. I think my younger sister has this sort of problem. She’s not entitled, more crippled. But she has an anxiety disorder as well and that really doesn’t help. But god, I get sick of carrying her emotionally, you know? Maybe that makes me a bad person, but sometimes I can’t get up the nerve to call her because I just can’t bear to talk to her for two hours about the tiniest, stupidest shit. “Should I move seats? What will everyone think if I move seats? Should I tell people why I’m moving seats? Should I tell the professor why I’m moving seats? Should I even move seats?” I don’t know if our parents did it, because I don’t think I turned out that way, but something did and it is seriously hard to deal with.

LDW (#4,492)

This doesn’t end at high school either. In grad school a parent emailed me to ask for an extension for her daughter.

KittyConner (#3,108)

Serena Van der Woodsen is, in fact, a perfect example of a terrible adult due to extraordinary sense of self-worth and yet a crippling sense of self-doubt.

(j/k Serena VdDubs was not a terrible adult. She was amazing and excellent and far smarter than anyone ever gave her credit for.)

(j/k She was pretty terrible.)

(Blair, on the other hand? No question, she was the greatest. And the worst ever. All hail Dorota and the ducks of Central Park.)

(God I love and miss that show and it taught me things about money and people and motivations that probably aren’t true at all and are also probably totally true a little bit. But it made me think about money and privilege and how other people do money in a way that never occurred to me.)

Liz the Lemur (#3,125)

Can we talk about the “Not Really Native American” bubble above one of the kids’ heads? Because it infuriates me. (All of this is with an awareness that the captions are made-up, which means that this was a conscious choice and that much more deserving of a rant.) 1. Why would a parent think they have the right to appropriate a culture for their child’s gain? Do people really not understand the centuries and centuries of (continued) systemic oppression? 2. It’s not up to anyone but the person and the tribe to decide who is and isn’t Native American. As in, white people absolutely do not get to decide who is “Native enough.”
The flippant way that this is tossed out as a joke bothers me immensely. That’s all.

Morbo (#1,236)


Elizabeth Warren, is that you?

Of course, if you follow Native American gaming, in many cases there is a mad dash to kick people out of the tribe so that the remaining members get bigger paydays. One can argue that Native Americans aren’t doing too good of a job determining who is Native American enough, wither.

TARDIStime (#1,633)

I know a guy like this – he’s been crippled by his parents’ unquestioning financial support over the years to the point now where he is a 27 year old man looking for work and no-one will hire him because he has zero experience in any field.

pilcrow (#1,713)

There are some okay points in this, but any article that says “oh no, this generation of kids is more unethical than ever before!” makes me raise my eyebrows. Hell, handbasket, etc. over and over again.

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