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Helicopter Parenting ‘Doesn’t Teach Children How To Deal With Failure’

Helicopter parenting has gone out of control, resulting in a generation of children who are not equipped to deal with failure, according to the headmistress of a leading private school.

Mothers, fathers, grandparents and those with au pair jobs in London would do better to give youngsters room to make their own mistakes and be independent, instead of watching their every move.

Jane Lunnon, who is head of Wimbledon High School in London, wrote in the Times Educational Supplement (TES) that some children “are so over-parented that they struggle to individuate at all”.

“These teens have no skill in forming their own narratives, in finding and using their own voices, in coping with their own disappointments, in making their own plans or devising their own dreams,” Ms Lunnon stated.

She noted that some parents even help their children with university assignments; listen to lectures with their youngsters; and constantly complain to teachers if things have not gone their way.

The headmistress of the £18,810-a-year school said the feeling of getting something right after several mistakes is “richly satisfying and still one of the greatest pleasures that life can afford” – and this is something helicopter parents are stealing from their youngsters.

Ms Lunnon will be speaking about the issue at the Bryanston Education Summit on Wednesday June 5th. The conference will look at the future of learning, and other speakers include vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham Anthony Seldon, psychologist and geneticist Robert Plomin, and maths adviser for the TES and creator of mrbartonmaths.com Craig Barton.

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