Esther Wojcicki, the mother of three highly successful women calls helicopter parenting the absolute worst model to raise children by.
There is no clear-cut answer on how to effectively raise children. What works for some families won’t work for others. But still, most newcomers to the task look to successful moms for parenting guidance.
To those who know her, Esther Wojcicki may be the epitome of ideal moms. The 81-year-old mother of three has raised prosperous daughters, all while balancing a lucrative career herself. Now, she is sharing which parenting style she absolutely refused to follow during her parenting journey.
Today, there seem to be more parenting styles than Taylor Swift hits. From koala to sittervising and gentle parenting, there’s a technique for everyone. But above all, Wojcicki swears that she never took from the book that contains all things helicopter parenting.
So what makes Wojcicki so well-equipped to give such big parenting advice? The success of her daughters says it all. Her daughter Susan is currently the CEO of Youtube, while Janet is a doctor, and Anne co-founded 23andMe.
Esther has a long career of success herself. She is a freelance journalist and has worked in education helping children most of her life. Next up, she is hoping to make an impact on the lives of her ten grandchildren.
Like the term sounds, helicopter parenting involves close “hovering” over the child. Families that follow this style often stick to strict supervision, overseeing every aspect of the kid’s life. In lamens terms, it involves a lot of micromanagement.
Oftentimes, helicopter parenting can be unavoidable. All moms and dads want to see their children succeed and live happy lives, which often leads to this style even without any intent to do so. For some, the style can pay off and leave kids feeling protected and well-loved.
But oftentimes, this overprotective parenting style backfires. It can make children grow up to be dependent on others, unable to take care of themselves properly when they need to. Research studying the negative effects has also shown how it can hinder children’s problem-solving abilities, and obstruct their power to self-control.
For Wojcicki, and other well-accomplished mothers she knows (such as Elon Musk’s mother), the choice was simple. Even if she wanted to practice helicopter parenting, she was much too busy to manage every aspect of her children’s lives. However, this served well for them, as it meant they were responsible for their own success.
Furthermore, she notes that this is exactly what she feels today’s youth need. For one reason or another, parents feel a growing need to protect their children from the world in parenting. But Esther fears this isn’t helping them grow into independent adults.
However, Wojcicki doesn’t think the solution is complete open parenting, allowing children to do as they please. Like many experts in the field, she feels that it is all about balance, and asserts that sticking to one style isn’t best. So with that in mind, what does this efficacious mother credit for her success?
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Wojcicki lived by TRICK: trust, respect, independence, collaboration, and kindness. She suggests fostering an independent lifestyle, with baby steps added one at a time. But above all, she maintains that over-monitoring helicopter parenting styles will only hinder these efforts.