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How Indulgent Parents Are Hindering Young Adults' Independence

CEO Tinh Phung
An exploration of how overly protective parents are impeding their children's growth into independent adults. Parenting styles have evolved over the years, with today's parents being more indulgent than ever. From accompanying their grown-up children...

An exploration of how overly protective parents are impeding their children's growth into independent adults.

Parenting styles have evolved over the years, with today's parents being more indulgent than ever. From accompanying their grown-up children to job interviews to calling in sick on their behalf, some parents will go to great lengths to ensure their offspring's success. While these actions may be well-intentioned, they are hindering young adults from developing the necessary skills and responsibilities that come with adulthood.

Clinical psychologist Arman Imran Ashok suggests that these permissive parents, who were raised by tough baby boomer parents, are now overcompensating for their own childhood experiences. Their protective nature stems from a desire to shield their children from the hardships they once faced. However, what these parents fail to realize is that by preventing their children from experiencing failure, they are depriving them of the opportunity to grow and learn.

In recent years, the term "adulting" has emerged, used to describe the struggles young adults face when it comes to everyday tasks such as paying bills, managing finances, and navigating the responsibilities of a job. The widespread adoption of this term is indicative of a larger issue - young adults are ill-prepared to be financially and physically independent. Permissive parents, driven by a desire for their children's success and protection, inadvertently contribute to this lack of readiness.

Reframing failure is essential in raising resilient and responsible adults. Instead of viewing failure as a stumbling block, parents should encourage their children to see it as a catalyst for growth and success. Falling and getting up again is a fundamental part of learning to walk, and the same principle applies to older children. They need to experience failure in order to learn from it and improve.

Arman shares a personal childhood story, where his parents allowed him to face the consequences of his mistake as the head prefect in primary school. This lesson in accountability and resilience shaped his character and taught him the importance of accepting responsibility for his actions. Parents who protect their children from hardship may be projecting their own unfulfilled desires onto them, seeking to give them what they lacked in their own lives. However, they must realize that shielding their children from failure indefinitely is not an act of love.

Fostering independence should start early in life. Arman emphasizes the importance of authoritative parenting, where clear boundaries are set, and children are given autonomy to make decisions. Alongside academic achievements, parents should also focus on teaching their children essential life skills and responsibilities. Simple tasks like taking care of a pet can instill a sense of responsibility and cultivate vital life skills.

Encouraging decision-making is another key aspect of fostering independence. Allowing children to make choices, from what clothes to wear to what subjects to study, empowers them and reinforces their commitment to their decisions. Setting clear boundaries and expectations with children, gradually over time, enables them to understand what is expected of them and plan their actions accordingly.

Living arrangements alone are not indicators of independence. Many young adults still live with their parents, often to save money while contributing to household expenses. It's important to look beyond where they live and focus on their level of contribution to the family unit. Whether they take responsibility for household groceries, bills, or the upkeep of the house, these actions demonstrate independence, regardless of their living situation.

In conclusion, indulgent parenting can hinder young adults' ability to become independent and responsible individuals. By reframing failure, fostering independence from an early age, and setting clear boundaries, parents can give their children the tools they need to navigate adulthood successfully. Ultimately, it's the development of crucial life skills and the willingness to take on responsibilities that determine whether young adults can truly "adult" in every sense of the word.

Arman says it is important for parents to foster resilience. — ARMAN IMRAN ASHOK Arman says it is important for parents to foster resilience. — ARMAN IMRAN ASHOK

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