With a subtitle of Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, Julie Lythcott-Haims is focused on a parent audience, but she covers some ground that’s worthy of discussion in the Launch context. As a former Stanford University dean of freshmen she’s reporting from the front lines after a decade of watching very bright, academically successful students flail at life away from home.
In a chapter entitled We’re Hurting Their Job Prospects, she talks about how this mollycoddling plays out after graduation, quoting Teach for America’s general counsel:
“If you tell them to do A, B, C, and D, they are excellent at doing it, and they’re hardworking and dedicated as they do it. But if you say ‘Look,
we’re trying to get to D. We’re going to show you A and give you half of C. Go Innovate, solve it for yourself, ’ they really struggle. Their mind-set
is, ‘Tell me what the path is and I’ll follow it, even if it’s really hard. But strike out on my own and figure it out? That I can’t do.’”
I can second that experience. We’re a small studio and there just wasn’t time to provide the hands-on attention aspiring graphic designers and film editors needed to be productive. Internships would devolve into the use of a workstation and access to our Lynda.com subscription. So we stopped having interns.