Julie Lythcott-Haims is the opposite of a helicopter parent.
A former dean of freshmen at Stanford, from 2002 to 2012, and the author of “How to Raise an Adult,” Lythcott-Haims has seen time and again that sheltered kids don’t make for capable adults.
She has built a career on encouraging parents to take a more hands-off approach, favoring tough love instead of protecting kids from the big, scary world.
Here are some of the broad strategies she’s outlined for how to get there.
Be authoritative, not authoritarian
There are three widely accepted styles of parenting, according to developmental psychologists: permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative.
The first two are no good. Permissive parents become their child’s friend and fail to establish healthy boundaries. Authoritarian parents rule with an iron fist, which can fill kids with self-doubt and bruise their psyches.
Authoritative parents are the ideal, Lythcott-Haims claims. They show love and affection but still enforce rules and set high expectations for their kids. Kids more often emerge with strong identities and high self-esteems.
Make them do their chores
An 80-year study called the Harvard Grant Study has found the single biggest predictor of a person’s success is whether they did chores as a child. Lythcott-Haims doesn’t take these findings lightly.
“If kids aren’t doing the dishes, it means someone else is doing that for them,” she told Business Insider. “And so they’re absolved of not only the work, but of learning that work has to be done and that each one of us must contribute for the of the whole.”
Chores instill in kids the attitude that life is about teamwork and cooperation, and that a clean, tidy living space doesn’t just happen by magic.
Let your kids forget their homework
Part of giving your child extra space is affording them the room to fail — in ways both small and large.
Lythcott-Haims uses the example of a parent who discovers their child left his homework at home. Some parents might have the instinct to rush the assignments to school, lest the child get a bad grade.
But Lythcott-Haims says parents should use the opportunity to teach their kids the importance of responsibility and staying organized. Mom and Dad won’t always be there to save the day.