Helicopter parents ruining kids' resilience, expert says
OVER-PROTECTIVE parents who try to solve all their childrens' problems could stop them building the resilience to deal with life's problems, says a children's mental health expert.
Author Garry King delivered his Building Resilience in Young People address at Grafton Community Centre last night and will repeat the performance tonight at the Maclean Bowling Club from 6.30pm to 8pm.
Mr King was speaking on the first day of a 12-day parenting festival which began in the Valley yesterday.
Clarence Valley Council has invited leading figures in parenting issues for a series of free forums and information sessions over the next 11 days.
"Parents try to help their children have a better life than theirs," Mr King said.
"But instead of helping, we've created a cotton-ball society where children don't learn the resilience you need to cope with life.
"Experiencing a few tough things early in life and being able to come out the other side is one of the best ways to develop resilience."
He said one problem has been a tendency to try to make children "good at everything".
"What I say is that no one's good at everything, but everyone is good at something," he said.
Mr King said by passing on social skills, parents could help their children learn how to cope.
"When I was a kid, families had four or five kids and we all had to help each other out," he said.
"These days with one or two children in the family you sort of lose that sense of interconnection with others."
Mr King liked the concept of the parenting festival which the council began two years ago.
"I would like to see more government bodies do more things like this," he said.
"It's a recognition that our communities expect more from local councils than just fixing roads and collecting rates.
"They deserve to be congratulated for having the foresight to put together something like this."
Council acting general manager Ashley Lindsay said: "It is something (the) council is happy to support because if we can make people better parents our children will have a better future, and we all benefit from that."
There is a full program here .