Be a great parent. No helicopter required.

portrait julie lythcott haims

Credit to Kristina Vetter

We spend a lot of time being concerned about parents who aren’t involved in their children’s lives and rightly so, says Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult.

But the on the other end of the spectrum, she says in a TED talk that has garnered nearly 3.5 million views, are parents who are too involved in their children’s lives, “where parents feel a kid can’t be successful unless the parent is protecting and preventing at every turn and hovering over every happening, and micromanaging every moment, and steering their kid toward some small subset of colleges and careers.”

Lythcott-Haims, who became a powerful voice critiquing the trend of “helicopter parenting” in her tenure as dean of freshmen and undergraduate advising at Stanford University, will discuss the responsibilities we have to one another as parents, neighbors, and citizens in a free, public talk at Columbus College of Art & Design on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m.

In How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, Lythcott-Haims explores how overparenting harms children, parents, and society, and how allowing children to make their own mistakes enables them to develop the resilience, resourcefulness, and drive necessary for success.

Lythcott-Haims’ most recent work, her 2017 memoir Real American, is a no-holds-barred reflection of her experience growing up as a black woman in America, and was called “courageous, achingly honest,” by Michelle Alexander, former Ohio State University law professor and author of the NYT bestseller The New Jim Crow.

Lythcott-Haims’ CCAD appearance is part of President Melanie Corn’s Art. Design. Values. Event Series.