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But college admissions have become more competitive.The number of applicants has doubled since the 1970s, and the growth in the number of spots has not kept pace, remaining basically unchanged at the very top schools.The bribery scandal has “just highlighted an incredibly dark side of what has become normative, which is making sure that your kid has the best, is exposed to the best, has every advantage — without understanding how disabling that can be,” said Madeline Levine, a psychologist and the author of “Teach Your Children Well: Why Values and Coping Skills Matter More Than Grades, Trophies or ‘Fat Envelopes.’” “They’ve cleared everything out of their kids’ way,” she said. Levine said, she regularly sees college freshmen who “have had to come home from Emory or Brown because they don’t have the minimal kinds of adult skills that one needs to be in college.” One came home because there was a rat in the dorm room. Others said it was too much work, and they had never learned independent study skills. Her whole life, her parents had helped her avoid sauce, calling friends before going to their houses for dinner.
This is when parents began filling afternoons and weekends with lessons, tutors and traveling sports games.
“If you’re doing it in high school, you can’t stop at college,” Ms. “If you’re doing it in college, you can’t stop when it comes to the workplace.
You have manufactured a role for yourself of always being there to handle things for your child, so it gets worse because your young adult is ill-equipped to manage the basic tasks of life.”In a new poll by The New York Times and Morning Consult of a nationally representative group of parents of children ages 18 to 28, three-quarters had made appointments for their adult children, like for doctor visits or haircuts, and the same share had reminded them of deadlines for school.
Parents now spend more money on child rearing than any previous generation did, according to Consumer Expenditure Survey data analyzed by the sociologists Sabino Kornrich and Frank Furstenberg. Milkie, a sociologist at the University of Toronto, today’s working mothers spend as much time doing hands-on activities with their children as stay-at-home mothers did in the 1970s.
Texting and social media have allowed parents to keep ever closer track of their progeny.For many wealthy families, it has always been a necessary badge of accomplishment for the child — and for the parents.