#2 How to Raise an Adult Transcript



Which brings me to the blue.in these apps that personally I can’t stand where we’re surveilling kids. I know college students who are watched by their parents with these apps. I know young adults in the workplace out of college, or didn’t go to college who are being watched and we think, well, that’s how I know they’re safe because I can see where they are and my response to.


Uh, blue dot. Can’t tell you that they’re safe. It can just tell you literally where they are. You can have confidence that they’re safe when they’ve had the experiences in life that have taught them. Oh, wow. That was not good judgment. Let me make better judgment next time. Wow. That was a little scary.


What am I going to learn from that? So that I’m better positioned. Next time. They are not helpless puppies on a. They are people who will grow from helpless to completely capable. Only if we let them have the life experiences where they can learn.


When is it appropriate to step in and help your college stage kid? Talk to their professor, fill out a form, nail a job interview, or even cut their own meat. Julie lift Scott Haimes, a former Dean of freshmen students at Stanford university. And New York times critically acclaimed and best-selling author of how to raise an adult, joins the podcast, to talk about raising our kids, to take care of themselves by using good judgment and empowering them to make their own decisions.


Julie reveals the issues that arise when parents are afraid to let their children learn by failing. And what metrics of over-parenting are, you will be talked out of the trap that undermines your kid’s skill to them. Find out the two best things. You can teach your kids to resource them, to succeed, including accepting them for who they are instead of who you think they should be.


I’m Lisa Marca, Robbins. And I want to welcome you to episode number two of college and career clarity, a flourish coaching production. Let’s dive right in to a great conversation.


To the college and career clarity podcast. This week, we have Julie lift Scott and Hames. Julie believes in humans and is deeply interested in what gets in our way. Her work encompasses writing, speaking, teaching, mentoring, and activism. She is the New York times bestselling author of how to raise an adult, which gave popular rise to a Ted talk that we will share our.


Her second book is a critically acclaimed and award-winning prose poetry memoir, real American, which illustrates our experience as a black and biracial person in white spaces. Her third book, your turn, how to be an adult has been called a groundbreaking Lee Frank guide to adulthood. Julie holds degrees from Stanford, Harvard law in California college.


She currently serves on the boards of common sense, media black women’s health imperative, narrative magazine, and on the board of trustees at California college of the arts, she serves on the advisory boards of leanin.org, parents magazine, and Baldwin for the. She lives in the San Francisco bay area with her partner for over 30 years, quite an accomplishment there.


I tend to it young adults and her mother. Welcome Julie. Thank you for making time today, Lisa, thank you for having me on your amazing new podcast. And let’s give a thanks in advance to all of those folks who decide to spend this time with. Absolutely. Well, I found you amazingly originally through someone else’s podcast and love your messaging because I have worked as you have for over 30 years with families in this space that you and I recently started moving out.


We no longer have teenagers. We both have young adults. So I immediately had to get your book, how to raise an adult. And just ate it up. So I shared it with our flourish community and we reflected it as our fourth quarter book club for 2021. And I found myself and our participants both convicted and celebrating.


And there were moments. I saw myself in your book and there were moments that I thought, oh, thank God. I’m not like. So I was feeling both. I want to hear more about what led you to write this book. And if you could share with our listeners, the premise of how to raise an adult. Thanks for supporting my work.


It’s really, it’s really wonderful. I really appreciate it. I’m also glad you found me through another podcast because I try to say yes to podcast opportunities because I see them as communities all over the place that I wouldn’t otherwise have access to. So I show up and your influence as a podcast host, then ripples out the people who decide that they value you are now learning about me.


And so that’s why I really just love to be on podcast. The premise of how to raise an adult is that over-parenting undermines kids, that we do it because we love them. And we’re just trying to be so helpful. And because we know a lot and can handle a lot, we step in a lot and do things for our kids that our parents never did for us.


And as a result, Our kids become chronologically adult, yet lack basic skills around getting themselves through the day, taking care of their bodies, their bills, their belongings, their business, knowing how to advocate for themselves in a bureaucracy or with authority figures, knowing how to problem solve.


We’ve handled all of this. And it undermines not only do they lack a sense of agency, which is I can do. Lacking agency leads to poor mental health. And we know from the research from the field of psychology, that over-parenting is correlated with higher rates of anxiety and depression in children. So in short, we have a very serious problem on our hands and communities all across this country and in others.


And I saw the manifestation of these issues on my campus when I was a Dean at Stanford university. It wasn’t a Stanford problem that I was seeing. It was a change in childhood that I was seeing. It was showing up in the form of parents who were still trying to do day to day stuff for their kids, air quotes, kids.


Now college students who could be in the Marines, a better in a four year college parents acting like their kids were incapable. My job was to root for those kids to figure stuff out and make their way forward. And all of those observations led me to be concerned, but here’s the asterisk I too was convinced.


I was seeing the problem in the form of parents, not able to let go of their college students. I E parents wanting to register their color students for class parents, wanting to talk with the professor about a grade stuff that might’ve been appropriate in the sixth grade, but not at the time. So I’m railing against it.


Cause I’m rooting for these students to talk to the instructor themselves, fill out their own forms and so on. But I come home one night when my own kids were 10 and eight, sit down next to my 10 year old lean over his plate. And without even thinking, without even crossing my mind as an intentionality, I just leaned over his plate and began cutting his meat for him.


Right. That was my, oh no, I’m one of them. I will not be able to let go of this kid at 18. Oh, no, there are so many skills. A person has to learn between cutting food and being self-sufficient out in the world. So I am complicit. I am one of the parents whose behavior I critique and I’m not doing it to be mean or unkind.


I’m not in it to blame parents. I’m in it for the kids. Kids are undermined when we over help and it’s high time that we see. I totally agree. You had great examples in your book. I think the times where I go like, oh, Lisa, you’re doing pretty good. Where those examples, maybe you can share one of the more extreme examples, but then the ones that hit closer to home or things like what you’re just saying, as I’ve started to talk through, like with our book club, we all start examining ourselves and trying to define like what’s appropriate when.


And when do we stop and how do we, we can’t just suddenly be in, I use the example of a car. So I say to parents, like picture a car. Are you in the driver’s seat right now? Are you in the passenger seat? Are you in the back seat or are you out of the car? Because eventually we need to get out of. So we all were discussing like what seats we were sitting in, but how do we get like what’s appropriate to do one mom brought up a great thing last week when we were talking about this in our book club and said, some of these are safety issues, we are in a culture and climate of safety as a more we’ve decided everything is.


So your kid walking down the aisle of a store without you’re watching their, every move unsafe. Probably not. We think that strangers are lurking everywhere, ready to snatch our children. And yet the research shows that those things happen. So rarely it’s strange that we’ve curated an entire childhood around that potential.


Uh, horrific outcome, which hardly ever happens. Our kids are actually in greater jeopardy with family members or acquaintances of the family than they are with strangers. And yet we’ve changed childhood around the possibility that some stranger out there is going to harm our kid. So this is a reminder that for example, there are also more danger in a car they’re more likely to die in a car than they are to die at the hands of a stranger.


Yet we’re constantly putting them in cars to shuttle them everywhere. And we’ve decided that is a risk worth taking. Philosophically, we need to raise our kids to be able to care for themselves. They can’t care for themselves at two or five or. But we hope by 18 20, 25, they will be fully capable of using the good judgment and making good decisions and making plans and choices such that they can keep themselves safe.


Okay. We are to keep them safe until they can keep themselves safe. And there isn’t a magic fairy godmother who shows up and confers upon them, the ability to keep themselves safe, unfortunately. Okay. That would be nice. Like I’ve cared for you and now magic, you can get for yourself instead of. Childhood is supposed to be a set of years where we let them have a longer and longer and longer leash so that they can learn more and more things.


They’ve got to learn to do stuff on their own. Let’s bring it back to safety. The way to ensure they wear a seatbelt is to always travel with them and always buckle that seatbelt for them. But that would be absurd, right? You can’t always accompany them, even if you want to, you need to know. That they know the seatbelt is required so that when you are not with them, they’re still using a seatbelt.


We’re supposed to deliver those expectations around safety, around values. We’re supposed to have role model it ourselves. And trust that our kid is then out in the world, having acquired that skill, we don’t have to monitor them around it. We know they’ve got it, which brings me to the blue.in these apps that personally I can’t stand where we’re surveilling kids.


I know college students who are watched by their parents with these apps. I know young adults in the workplace out of college, or didn’t go to college who are being watched and we think, well, that’s how I know they’re saying. ’cause I can see where they are. And my response is a blue dot. Can’t tell you that they’re safe.


It can just tell you literally where they are. You can have confidence that they’re safe when they’ve had the experiences in life that have taught them. Oh, wow. That was not good judgment. Let me make better judgment next time. Wow. That was a little scary. What am I going to learn from that? So that I’m better positioned.


Next time. They are not helpless puppies on a. They are people who will grow from helpless to completely capable. Only if we let them have the life experiences where they can learn. So it’s this gradual lengthening of this leash, the gradual pulling away of ourselves as the person standing alongside them, holding on to being a person who’s there, but nearby, but not attached can still see no longer needed to watch.


It’s a gradual gradual process of teaching them the skills they need to have so that they can survive. Frankly, when we’re dead and gone, that’s what we’re preparing them for. One day, we’ll be dead and gone, and we don’t want our then 40, 50, 60 year olds to be totally helpless because we’ve always handled every little thing.


I think parents have a hard time thinking that it could get that out of control, but it does. Cause if you don’t start fostering the building of skills and the growing of their independence, the opposite happens. They become. Dependent on us, less and less able, you will get to a point where you’re like, why doesn’t my 20 year old, know how to do this?


And your brain will respond. Cause you’ve always done it for them. Can’t get mad at them for not knowing how to do a damn thing. We have undermined our skill development. We shouldn’t be surprised when we have people failing to learn. Right. When I was reading your book. And then we talked about this part in the book club previously, I was patting myself on the back.


I had my kids start doing their laundry when they were in the eighth grade, it was completely their responsibility. And then I read your book. I’m like, dang it. I should have started that earlier. You had practical advice in there about chores being a fantastic way. And I was convicted. Like I did not start early enough.


Same here. I didn’t know, Lisa, I didn’t know jars mattered until I began doing the work I needed to do to write this book. And I had one of those home alone, Macaulay, Culkin moments of like, oh no, I have failed my own children. And when you don’t realize jail tours are important until they’re 10 and 12 and you say, Hey buddy, they look at you.


Like, what are you talking? W why is this important? Now we haven’t been doing, like, if you start young, they just know I’m a part of this family. I need to contribute. I’m expected to help out. And I do. And oh, by the way, not only does it develop skills in them, they feel a sense of belonging to the family.


People want to be relied upon. People want to contribute. We are a social species. We get this juice and butter. Not only from solving our own problems, but by contributing to the betterment of the situation, we don’t want to be micromanaged at work. We don’t want to be micromanaged at home. We want to be given a task and then have a nice smile and a thank you.


Not over praise and oh my gosh. You’re the most amazing vacuumer but just like, thanks for taking care of the vacuuming. I appreciate it. Smile. Acknowledge. Move on. Yep. Tell our listeners, you had different types of parenting, that different labels that you gave parents. So, yeah. And this isn’t me. This is from research decades, old research in the field that studies parenting stuff.


It’s sort of Cartesian scale. It’s, it’s two axes and four quadrants that access that goes top to bottom is very demanding to not at all demanding. And the one that goes left to right is not responsive to very responsive. And so the authoritarian parent is very demanding of their kids and not at all responsive to their kids’ needs.


This is my way or the highway, my rules, my. Not a lot of love and care evidence, just a lot of rules and maybe a lot of punishment. We’re not supposed to do authoritarian. Okay. Down here, not demanding and not responsive to needs. That’s an, that’s the absent parent, the parent whose life is so caught up in other things.


They’re not there for their kid at all. We don’t want that. None of us whose over parenting is guilty. Over here. This is what a lot of us are doing highly responsive to their needs. No expectations. This is the I’m your best friend. You can do anything. I’ll just show up and meet your needs. This is the indulgent permissive parent, and this is the sweet spot, highly responsive to their needs, but also demanding in that we have boundaries and rules and expectations.


Okay. This is what we’re supposed to aim for. It’s called authoritative. Got the authority from the authoritarian side, but the permissive, if we are having high expectations and highly responsive to their needs, and if we’re over-parenting, we’re either in this authoritarian tiger type or we’re in the indulgent permissive best friend concierge help you out type.


And both of those are problematic. We’re trying to aim here. They’re both bad. Now I know one place for sure, where you and I align is. Chasing down elite. What I now call highly rejective colleges. And you had worked at one of those. So what I’ve now started as a college and career counselor myself, and like they are highly rejective is the word for those schools that we’re talking about.


Next quarter are when this podcast comes out, our book club for quarter one is going to be Frank. Bruni’s where you go is not who you’ll be, which I know aligns with what you and I both believe. But I believe that there is a value in a college education. I don’t know that it’s necessary for everyone, but as we start to prepare our kids to make informed what I call major decisions.


We have to get out of their way there too. I was shocked when I was reading your book about the parents who still show up when their college graduate goes to an interview for, I can’t even believe it happens, frankly, it goes to their interview. What advice do you have for parents as a parent, yourself, as an authority, as some of the experienced in these highly rejected colleges for them to let their kids find their own way.


And what advice do you have? There’s so much embedded in that question. You reminded me of another example of when we continue being their helper and their fixer and their handler. Not only do we show up at job interviews, but sometimes we call bosses. I have a story in my book of somebody who calls an investment bank partner, who says, I’d think you’re working my son too hard.


And the son shows up for work the next day with all of his belongings in a box with a post-it note on it that says, ask your mother. In other words, he’s been fired because his mother called the boss and said, stop working my baby to. Wow. So w what are we doing? Like we’ve lost. You want to say to those parents, like, go get a life so you can get out of your own kid’s way.


With respect to the colleges. I love that you say they’re highly rejected. I would also add too many kids are applying to too many schools. There’s just a culture and climate of apply everywhere, which means every single school is getting tens and 20 times the number of applications they used to get. So it’s created this sort of absurdly, low admission.


It’s not that there are that many more kids in the country than ever before. It’s so many more kids are applying to too many places is one of the metrics involved in the problem. I, 100% believe where you go is not who you’ll be. I love Frank Bruni’s work. This is what I would say about getting out of your kid’s way in the process.


Why would you want to get out of your kid’s way? Well, if you were the one driving this college process, if you’re deciding where they should apply, if you’re deciding where they should visit, if you’re figuring out what they should write about. That is a red flag for me, that your kid is not invested enough in the process to be able to, or want to do it themselves.


Childhood high school might be so intense, so busy that you think they don’t have time. And my response to that would be then have them take a gap year, have them do a wonderfully structured gap year like global citizen year, or do some meaningful work, but wait until they have the time to invest in doing and being the, in the driver’s seat.


Choose your. Themselves. I promise you that if you are the one that does most of the heavy lifting during the college process, they will not be equipped to land on that campus and do all of the work required there themselves. So you will be tracking their deadlines there and you will be reviewing their essays there.


And you might even be picking up the phone to call the chemistry professor because you’re not happy with how your kid performed. Okay. You see what this is? So this is a pro this is an opportunity to work with somebody like you, where it’s about centering the kid and helping them figure out. Gee, what am I good at?


What do I love? What are my quirks and foibles that make me a unique individual? Where do I think I’m going to thrive in terms of the size of the school and what they offer in the part of the country? They’re in my son’s favorite restaurant is all of garden. And one of the metrics in his college search was how far is the nearest olive garden.


And I didn’t think that was a legitimate. He also said I want to be in the Pacific Northwest. I liked the rain. That’s what. He knows. He likes to go for walks in the rain and you’re going to need to go and have those some good solitary thinking while you’re in college, go where it rains. Most people wouldn’t think of these two things as things that should be a part of the college search as parents are moving out of that driver’s seat.


I have an online digital course called launch career clarity. And it’s all about getting to know yourself, your wiring. We get to know ourselves. Then we get to know careers. Then we work on finding a path to get there. Like, what do we want to do? What’s that first step, not the forever step, but that first step into the world of work.


And I talked to the families that my course about as parents were there to resource our kids, but they have to do the work. So. Kind of what are some final thoughts that you might have for steps for our parents on resourcing these teens and young adults? What does it mean to resource and not do it? Yeah.


Well, I got to tell you, my newest book is called your turn, how to ban adult and it’s for the young adults. The hinge of that book is this is your life. Nobody else’s, you’re not, somebody’s pet on a leash. You’re not somebody’s project. It’s yours to figure out what you’re good at and what you love and who you are, and then go be that person.


And then I address, why are you stuck? And who’s in your way, who you’re trying to please, whose rejection do you fear? That’s how I advocate to young people about the fact that this is their life to seize and snatch away from whomever is trying to orchestrate it. Frankly, it’s tourism love that are the greatest things that we can offer our kids in the whole.


Yes, shelter and food and all of that. But in addition, they need to learn a work ethic while they’re at home and chores teach that they need to know that they are unconditionally loved, not love when they get an a, or a loved one to get into this school. But simply period, love. We need to see them for who they are.


My own kid had ADHD and anxiety, which I instilled does, which I ignored for most of his life because I thought he was so smart. It didn’t. Where did that turn out to come back to bite him and us as parents. My advice now is lean into the kid. You’ve got accept them with all of their diagnoses and conditions and differences, whatever their interests are.


That’s, what’s valid. If they’re interested in something you don’t understand too bad, it’s their life, not yours. My youngest is an artist. I couldn’t accept that for the first 10 years of her life. I kept. Just squash that down or just poopoo it and really get her to focus on these academic air quotes subjects that she was so good at.


I just couldn’t see the artist in her. She’s now a 20 year old artists in college doing exceptionally well, finding internships in the arts, getting jobs in the arts. Is she going to get rich as an artist who knows, who cares? But I’m loving this kid for who she is, and there’s no greater joy for any of us than knowing our parents accept us as we are.


When that happens. I’m here to say, Lisa, almost anything is possible. I agree. That is beautiful advice, Julie, thank you for making time. I know that young adult daughter of yours just arrived home, anxious to go spend some amazing time with her while she’s on her winter break. I’m going to tell everybody they need to read your book.


I would imagine that you want parents to even also read your turn because it’s the advice. Good for them to hear how you would advise their kids and then maybe give that to their kids as a gift, some time gift in that book, right. People want to keep in touch with you. I know we’re well connected on Instagram.


Is that the best place or where would you recommend Instagram as a place to find me? I’m Jay lift. Cut. Hames. That’s my first initial, last name. No hyphen. And Instagram turns out that’s my handle everywhere on social media. So follow me wherever you do social media. I also write a weekly blog called Julie’s pod, which is a J lift got hanes.bulletin.com.


And this is where I’m super vulnerable about what’s going on in my own life and my reaction to what’s happening in the world. In fact, the posts I’m working on right now, that’ll be well out by the time this air. Really trying to share with people that I was very much in my daughter’s way, trying to fix her, trying to manage and handle.


I’ve written about my journey around stepping back so that she can step forward, moving to the backseat of the car, moving out to the sidewalk and waving as she drives away, it’s been a journey and I’ve really tried to share my own imperfections. And struggles and ways in which I’ve just flat out, screwed up.


I’m trying to share that with folks. I’m here with a lot of blunt advice, but I want folks to know I’m trying to take my own advice too. I’m in it with you. So come find me wherever you are on the internet, and I’d love to interact around whatever it matters. I have to say, Julie is always available. She’s got a hotline.


I get that newsletter. And she is there. The hotline is a red phone. You can call if Casey can’t comment publicly, Lisa that’s the point. A lot of folks have questions. They just can’t put in a public forum like social media. So the phone number is one eight, seven, seven. Hi, Julie, you can call me know that I’m listening and I’ll share out my advice.


Every Monday, live on my Facebook page at noon Pacific, but I keep your identity, private and confidence. Fantastic. And I can say parents in this space need that. Oftentimes in my programs, we have a parent summit week so that they can just come and get answers and talk in a safe place without burdening their children with losing themselves of their anxiety and their worries as we all navigate this together.


So we need more voices in this story. And Julie, thank you for being one of the. Lisa, thanks for having me. And thanks to everyone who listened. I hope whomever you are. You found something useful that you can take out into your day, into your week, into your weekend. We’re all trying to do our best on behalf of our kids and sometimes a little introspection around why we’re feeling such a need to control what we’re so worried about.


Why do we need that particular outcome so badly doing some good work, maybe with a coach or a therapist can really help us heal ourselves and get out of our. I have to say that’s probably what helped me the most getting a therapist and just right on king at the Y and exactly. Just being honest about it.


Yeah, for sure. So we’ll put all of Julie’s information in our show notes. Thank you, Julie. Have a wonderful holiday season with your kiddos at home. Thanks, Lisa, same to you and to everyone listening.


Wow. This conversation with Julie has kept me thinking from the moment we recorded it just before the holiday season, until we brought it to you and I will continue to revisit her advice and rich content. I encourage you to consider the four parenting styles and where you are in your parent. I know for me, it’s been different styles at different times in something that I even with young adult children continue to be aware of, so that I’m helpful instead of hindering my own as they launch, as you continue to resource your own teen on the journey to college, take some time to figure out what one thing you could do this very week to move farther away from the drivers.


So when the time is right, they are ready for you to leave the car entirely and route them on from the sideline. If you’ve not yet read Julie’s book, how to raise an adult, I encourage you to do so as it’s never too late to do better, we’ll have the link to that book in all other helpful resources. From this episode in the show notes, if today’s episode was helpful to you, please share it with a friend who needs.


Thank you for listening to the college and career clarity podcast, where I help resource your family to move from overwhelmed and confused to motivate and clear and confident about your team’s future.