September 23, 2015 @ 7:00 p.m.
Carroll Sr. High School Auditorium
1501 W Southlake Blvd., Southlake, TX 76092

Join SAGE & get in free, or admission is $15 at the door

Event co-sponsored by SAGE and the Southlake Association for the Gifted & Talented and the Southlake Carroll AP Booster Club

The provocative book How to Raise An Adult exposes the harms of helicopter parenting and sets forth an alternate philosophy for raising preteens and teens to self-sufficient young adulthood.

Author Julie Lythcott-Haims will share her recommendations on how to arm your children with the tools they’ll need to thrive as fully functioning, capable young adults.

Her work has has appeared on TEDx talks and in the Chicago Tribune, Forbes, The New York Times,,, and Huffington Post.

Click here to download a PDF flyer for “How to Raise an Adult”

Notes from the session:

“I’m not particularly interested in parenting, per se. … I’m interested in human beings … I believe the world needs each one of us to … be who we actually are, regardless of what other people say or expect …”

“(As a dean), my more affluent students … were more and more and more accomplished. Scores, accolades, leadership … Yet each year, students could tell you what they achieved but not so much why it mattered to them … Was any of this really their passion?”

“My students lived their college lives looking over their shoulder for their parents’ direction”

At freshman orientation, to parents: “Trust your son or daughter. Trust the institution to educate your son or daughter. Now please go home.”

“Then that night I went home, and at dinner … Found myself cutting my son’s meat.”

“When do we stop treating our kids like little kids?”

When our kids learn to walk, we watch and wait until they’re ready. We encourage through failure. We don’t say, “your father will not approve” when she falls.

“We cannot just magically let go of our 18-year-old if we are holding tight to our 17-year-old”

“When we shape their dreams and tell them who they must be to make us proud.. We’ve undermined their own chances to make their own way.”

“When we over-help, we are saying, “Hey kid, you can’t do this without me.”

“We shouldn’t do for them what they can do, what they can almost do, and what feeds our ego”

High school students say to their parents … “Would you tell them the brand name of a college isn’t as important as they think. … Please start believing in me and stop comparing me to others.”

Questions from the audience:

Q: What about emotionally over-parenting? A: the greatest harm to a child is the unlived life of a parent. (Jung) We have an obligation to hold our emotions close to us, and not burden them with our emotions. Let them know you believe they are competent.

Q: Re college: can you speak on the concept of “big fish, small pond?” A: US News college list is preying and profiting on our anxiety. Better undergrad lists = Colleges that change lives.
Washington Monthly college rankings. Malcolm Gladwell suggests it’s advantageous to be in the top 10 percent wherever you go to college. Have confidence that your kid will succeed wherever they go

Q: when we go home from here what do we do? A: 1. Stop saying “we” when you mean them … “We’re on the track team … We are busy with dance” Stop pretending their life is also yours. They are not bonsai trees. They will feel pruned and clipped. They are wildflowers of an unknown genus and species.  2. Stop arguing with every adult in their lives … Teachers coaches are under siege. Teach your kid now to be able to respectfully talk to teachers about issues and advocate for themselves.
3. Stop doing their homework.

See her podcast “Getting In” at SLATE.COM

Q: if I leave my kids to their own devices they will watch tv all day. A: authoritative parenting sets the rules. “We do chores first then you can do what you want” Stop rescuing them when they forget their lunch or homework.

Q: my employer only hires graduates from the top 10 universities A: true sometimes but also it’s changing. Google hiring from everywhere. Harvard Law is admitting people from 171 colleges. Teach for America hires from 800 colleges.

Q: Local physician notes that 40-50% of his patients he sees per day come in for anxiety. A: The antidote is to value the kids for who they are. They are measuring themselves by grades and scores. We can walk the walk when things go wrong. … When you have evidence that something is too much for your kid … Give him the option to drop out. “It made him feel seen.”

Q: How to make your kid successful? A: Chores (knowing how to pitch in and meet expectations) and love (being kind to self and others)

Other comments from attendees:

  • Wonderful speaker, ordered the book before I left the parking lot!
  • Loved her! Great information!!
  • For younger kids — 4 steps in letting go and encouraging independence:
    1. Do it for them.
    2. Do it with them.
    3. Watch them do it.
    4. Let them do it on their own.
  • Stop saying “we”. I already caught myself twice and I didn’t even realize I was doing it.
  • What a great job of capturing the highlights! Thank you! Julie’s “big fish/small pond” discussion was extremely helpful.