How To Raise An Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims is a book that’s both a damning indictment of the over-parenting commonly found in better off families in the western world, and a solution to it. The first half of the book is spent outlining just how much, despite its best intentions, over-parenting damages children and their future prospects by leaving them totally unprepared for an independent adult life. In many ways, this only confirms what many of us either already know or have long suspected, and this means that it’s the second half of the book which is actually more useful for anyone wishing to avoid falling into the over-parenting trap themselves. This is because it is in this section that you’ll find a raft of practical and useful suggestions for what you can do to raise a child who will be capable of living a successful and independent life when they grow up, an aim that we here at How To Raise A Happy Genius fully support and encourage.
Basic Book Information (2015 Paperback Edition): ISBN: 978-1509818334; Year of First Publication: 2015; Recommended Retail Price (RRP): £14.99/US$15.99; Number of Pages: 354. To purchase this book in the UK, click here. To purchase this book in the USA, click here.
What is this book about? This book is about over-parenting and the damage that it can inflict on children, leaving them incapable of leading an independent adult life. It details how, by concentrating on academic development over all other elements of their lives, children become highly educated, but lack the skills required to live on their own, and indeed take their place in today’s work force. While it primarily concentrates on the American education system, much of it holds true for the UK, too. While there are many other books which also detail this issue, what makes How to Raise An Adult stand out is the fact that the second half of it is devoted to providing a practical guide on how to avoid the over-parenting trap with your child, and how to ensure that they develop into well-rounded individuals capable of living independent lives.
Why is it important to know? Over-parenting is something that many of us are in danger of doing. It’s done not through a wish to harm a child’s future prospects, but by a wish to protect and support them as much as we possibly can. This is only natural, but it’s also incredibly damaging to their self-confidence, their self-esteem and their ability to make a success of their adult lives. While the first half of the book is something that you can read if you wish, the second half should be mandatory reading for anyone who’s in danger of falling into the over-parenting trap, and these days that’s most, if not all, parents. If you don’t believe me, then you can click here to read stories from parents who have been inspired by this book to change the way that they raise their children.
What are the key take home messages? 1. Over-parenting, by doing everything we can for a child, does not help them, and in fact can be deeply damaging to their future prospects; 2. Children need to learn to do a lot more than how to pass exams if they are to be successful as adults, and childhood is the time to learn these core life skills; 3. There are many routes to being an adult success; and a child has to be allowed to choose the path they wish to follow, rather than having it mapped out for them by their parents; 4. The best approach to parenting is to be authoritative (which means expecting the best from your child while still being responsive to their individual needs and dreams), rather than being an authoritarian parent (who demands the best without respecting or responding to their child’s wishes) or an overly permissive one (who responds to their child’s every demand, but does not require them to achieve anything in return).
You can learn more about the key take home messages from How To Raise An Adult in this Ted talk by its author:
Who is the author? Julie Lythcott-Haims is a parent and former dean of first year students at Stanford University in California, USA. As such, she has had a ring-side seat from which to see first hand the damage that over-parenting has done to a generation of young people, and to provide advice on how to avoid it.
How technical is this book? This is by no means a technical book. Most of the points presented in it are supported by insightful stories, rather than statistics, but the statistics are provided too when they help drive a particular point home. This means that it is easy to read, and its ideas are simple to take on board and implement in your own life as a parent.
How long will it take to read? At 354 pages, this is not a short book, and it would probably take a couple of days to read it from cover to cover. However, it is structured in such a way that it’s easy for busy parents to dip in and out of it when they can find the time, and in particular the second half, which offers practical advice on how to raise a well-rounded child who’ll grow into a fully functional adult, is broken down into bite-sized chunks that can be read and absorbed in a matter of minutes. Be warned, though, once you start reading, you may will find it difficult to put down.
Are there other books by the same author? To date, How To Raise An Adult is the only book written by Julie Lythcott-Haims.
Links To Purchase This Book
To purchase this book, click on the image below, or click here. For those with less time available for reading books, an eighty-four page summary of this book can be purchased from here.
To purchase this book, click on the image below, or click here.
For those with less time available for reading books, an eighty-four page summary of this book can be purchased from here.
To purchase this book, click on the image above, or click here. For those with less time available for reading books, an eighty-four page summary of this book can be purchased from here.
To purchase this book, click on the image above, or click here.
About The Author: This post was written by Colin Drysdale, the creator of How To Raise A Happy Genius.
The links contained in this post are affiliate links. This means that we will receive a small commission for each purchase made after clicking on a link. This allows us to run this website and provide the information it contains free of charge. If you don’t want us to receive this commission, simply visit your preferred online store directly and search for the product there.