Wilton Youth Council is offering two free events for parents based on the best-selling book by Julie Lythcott-Haims, How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success. Lythcott-Haims is a former dean at Stanford University who speaks and writes about the risks of helicopter parenting. Her thesis:  by loading kids with high expectations and micromanaging their lives at every turn, parents aren’t actually helping.

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, Tracey Masella of Silver Hill Hospital will facilitate a screening of Lythcott-Haims’ thought-provoking TED Talk on parental expectations and unconditional love, followed by a discussion of how to stop over-parenting and help our children develop resilience. Resilience is the ability to manage adversity, to pick ourselves up after we have fallen down.  In our communities, children are often rescued before they fall; our children are deprived of the opportunity to learn how to handle distress. We will discuss how to create a safe and effective family frame in which children learn to manage their lives effectively.

On Wednesday, Feb. 28, Ellen Berezovsky, also of Silver Hill, will lead a book discussion for people who want to go a little deeper. In How to Raise an Adult, Lythcott-Haims draws on research, on conversations with admissions officers, educators, and employers, and on her own insights as a mother and as a student dean to highlight the ways in which overparenting harms children, their stressed-out parents, and society at large. While empathizing with the parental hopes and, especially, fears that lead to overhelping, Lythcott-Haims offers practical alternative strategies that underline the importance of allowing children to make their own mistakes and develop the resilience, resourcefulness, and inner determination necessary for success.

Both events will be offered in both the morning and the evening to accommodate parents’ schedules. Both presentations are appropriate for parents of children of all ages.

How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success

TED Talk Screening

Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018

Book Discussion

Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018

  • 10-11:30 a.m. at Wilton Library, Rimer Room
  • 7-8:30 p.m. at Wilton Library, Rimer Room

Registration required online or by calling 203.762.6334

Book Discussion only:  A minimum of 15 registrants is required for each session to run; sessions will be limited to a maximum of 20 participants to ensure opportunities to participate.