How to Raise an Adult Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: How to Raise an Adult serves as a practical guide for all the parents who want to raise responsible and independent adults, but often catch themselves falling into the trap of over protecting their children and actually inhibiting their natural evolution and the growing up process.

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How to Raise an Adult Summary

Children can be a blessing, but they also give us plenty of challenges. Every child is different. Some kids do better than others in school, sports, or other life situations. Parents are quite different too. Some prefer to provide everything for their children, while others like to have their kids work for what they get. 

Finding the right parenting style for your kid can be a challenging task. However, one thing is for sure – nothing good comes out of overdoing things. Still, finding the line between protecting your child and not letting them experience life can be hard. So how can one tell which is the right way to raise a child?

How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims has got some answers! The book offers advice on how to understand your children when they speak to you, and how to raise them to become responsible, independent adults.

Let’s explore the secrets of great parenting by looking at 3 of my favorite lessons from the book:

  1. Overparenting is one of the most common mistakes parents make.
  2. A child is more likely to abuse drugs and have psychological issues if they grew up with overprotecting parents.
  3. Playtime plays a great role in a child’s development.

Are you willing to explore these lessons in detail and reveal some interesting facts? If so, stick with me as I’ll explore them one by one!

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Lesson 1: You may not be aware of it, but you are probably over-protecting your children.

A parent’s job is to provide their children with a safe space for development and growth. But how can one tell when it gets too safe? Doing too much of a good thing is also known as helicopter parenting, which implies being a parent that constantly supervises and gets involved in their children’s life, which will in turn make them dependent and irresponsible adults later on. 

I get it! Allowing your children to explore the world by themselves can be a scary thought. After all, you wouldn’t want them to have contact with dangerous people or places, especially if you’re not around. However, sometimes these fears tend to get irrational and may stand in the way of them developing their own defensive mechanisms and mind filters. 

Parents also become intrusive for their children by managing their extracurricular activities to a large extent. Although they may think that they’re doing what’s best for their children, sometimes that may not be the case.

If your kid has other natural inclinations than what you expected, it’s better to let them pursue that. Moreover, don’t intrude on their personal space or their personal life, such as their circle from school, for example. Although you may think that the educational institution they’re attending is treating them unfairly for giving them a bad grade. Try to be as objective as possible before showing up and causing a scene.

Lesson 2: Helicopter parenting leads to a loss of life skills, which in turn causes psychological problems.

Unfortunately, being an overprotective parent does more harm than good in the long run. If a child grows up thinking that their parents will make their problems go away and solve any inconvenience that may occur, as soon as the real world throws a real life challenge at them, they’ll freak out. Sadly, parents can’t always be around when life gets hard, so the people that grew up with them feel as if life is unfair to them compared to their peers.

As such, they feel overwhelmed and turn to substance abuse to drown their thoughts and alleviate those negative emotions. In fact, the American College Health Association suggests that 81.3% of college students felt overwhelmed by their academic obligations. Many even develop depression, unusual levels of anxiety at work and high levels of stress overall just by doing simple tasks, like keeping up with their work schedule or maintaining their house clean. 

Therefore, parents who overdo their tasks as their kid’s protectors and raise them in a happy bubble, away from troubles and duties, are actually harming their children. If you want to avoid becoming one, make sure to hold your kid accountable for their wrongful actions, reward them for excellence, and have them pick up after themselves and even be responsible for simple tasks, such as taking the trash out.

Lesson 3: Balance playtime and a good amount of skill learning in your kid’s schedule.

Playtime is a necessity in every child’s life. When a child spends unstructured time playing and simply exploring the world, testing different hypotheses about what works and what doesn’t, and discovering nature, their mind develops to a great extent. During this time, it’s important that the parent doesn’t interfere too much, as it can distract the child and alter the quality of their playtime.

Of course, if their physical integrity is in danger, it’s a parent’s job to step in and rescue their child from the threat. However, make sure to think twice before you classify something as a potential threat, as it can be just a minor discomfort to your child, and so you don’t need to become overprotective with them. Remember that playtime is a great way to develop skills and build competences.

However, remember that there’s a limit to how much a child should play, as if you allow them to spend the entire day as they please, they’ll end up growing up thinking that life is a worry-free place where responsibilities are someone else’s problem. Unfortunately, we all know that’s just not the case. As such, plan some time for your child to learn, read, do something practical, or build certain skills.

The How to Raise an Adult Review

How to Raise an Adult steps in to help all parents get the hang of what great parenting implies, and offers them valuable pieces of advice on how to raise responsible, integrated adults in the society. By touching on subjects like overparenting, building skills and competences in the child, and helping them discover their own path in life, the author managed to create an easy-to-read handbook for parents. When reading this piece, one must leave out all subjectivity and be open to constructive criticism, hence change what’s there to change and become a better parent for their children.

Who would I recommend the How to Raise an Adult summary to?

The 30-year-old parents who are trying to better their parenting skills, the 32-year-old single mother who wants to learn how to build the best life for her children, or the 45-year-old worker at the orphanage who wants to learn how to raise children the best as they can.

Last Updated on May 19, 2023

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Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.