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Monday
Oct172016

Can parents ruin their kids? Scary thought, isn't it?

As a parent of teenagers and a therapist providing parenting skills to many parents, I know that parents try their best to raise successful children. However, parents can do things that inadvertently prevent their children from developing keen executive functioning skills, social skills and emotional intelligence, which are necessary to function as confident and competent adults.

Here is something that I have noticed about many of the college students in the UCs and State Colleges in the Bay Area that I've counseled for over 11 years. They often fall in one of the following situations: a freshmen in college, relocating from out of state or country, feeling alone and lonely, struggling to make the "right" decisions about their romantic relationships, or having to make a major decision about their education/career. The most common diagnosis for college students are Major Depression, Social Anxiety, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Most of the students' depression or anxiety are triggered by the adjustments they are experiencing and they do not have coping skills and are afraid to make decision for themselves.

Most of the students are petrified of making the wrong decisions. They are afraid of disappointing their parents, friends, people in general and feel damned if they do and damed if they don't. Most parents have done so much for their children, such as rescuing and sparing them from any and all inconvenience, discomfort, and made most of the "important" decisions for them. As a result, many of these student have not had the practice of orienting themselves to what they really need or want, to make that decision and learn to make adjustments from their mistakes. Without practice, these students have poorly developed organizational skills, self-discipline and are not able to follow through to accomplsh what they desire. These are very important skills to have to be a successful college student. Recently I came across an article "What a Stanford Dean Says Parents are Doing That’s Ruining Their Kids" on facebook. This speaks to what I have observed and it will help you make changes to your parenitng approach so your child can begin to learn some of these skills. I think this is worth reading and considering. Enjoy!