Never do for kids...

Kara Powell | Nov 8, 2010

One of the great parts of my job is that I learn so much that informs and helps Dave’s and my parenting. One principle that has guided our parenting since our kids were born, but especially in the last 6 months, is to never let do for a kid what they can do for themselves. Letting kids accomplish tasks gives them a sense of significance, regardless of the age of the kid.

That’s the opposite of the helicopter parenting philosophy, or what has also been recently called the “velcro parents” who won’t unstick from their kids. This recent New York Times article called “Confessions of a Helicopter Mom” shows how hard it can be to let your kids go, especially when they are literally moving out of the house.

Whether you’re a youth leader or a parent (or both), what are you doing for the kids you know that they could be doing for themselves? It is time to stop some of it?

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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