The Dangers of Letting Someone Else Decide
by JONATHAN KLICK
The more we protect individuals from making decisions (good or bad), the less willing they will be to invest in decisionmaking capacities. A few years ago, I was bemused when I spoke at an orientation session for new law students, finding that a third of the room was filled with their parents. This feeling eventually turned to despair when I discovered this is a fairly ubiquitous phenomenon. By coddling their children (setting up default rules in such a way to protect them from their failure to make a good decision, so to speak), it seems, today’s helicopter parents have actually stunted their children’s development. You may think I am exaggerating the costs of this (and that I may be a little bitter that the parents, year after year, assumed I was the A/V guy, reacting with shock when they found out I was the professor they had come to hear speak), but there is at least some evidence of this coddling leading to negative long term consequences. Apparently a number of firms report that entry-level candidates are now bringing their parents to job interviews and letting mom negotiate their benefits for them.