Best of the Web: Why parents should stop blaming themselves for how their kids turn out, and more…

An empowering new way to think about being a parent, how to tell a great bedtime story, and a self-confessed helicopter parent flies away to give her young adult son some space.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

Why parents should stop blaming themselves for how their kids turn out

(Yuko Munakata,

There’s a belief that if a child doesn’t succeed in life, it is the fault of the parents. The equation is simplistic: a successful parent produces a successful child, a struggling parents a struggling child.

So much for that idea. The science is in, and there is a very different and empowering message: you have influence over your child, but you don’t have control.

There’s some great advice from the author, an expert in child development, about how to embrace this concept.

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How to tell a great bedtime story

(Paul L. Underwood, The New York Times, via The Sydney Morning Herald)

We all know the benefits of reading a bedtime story with a child. There’s also another world of storytelling, with you and your child the creators of the adventure.

This is a handy guide from a Dad who has been working on his storytelling technique, after a scathing review a few years back from his eldest daughter. His story about a girl being blocked from getting to school by a nefarious cow met with a deserved bored response. Now, he knows what works for her: princesses, watches and magic. And what doesn’t: stories with a moral.

The writer went in search of some expert views about what makes for a great story, and why they also allow you to engage with your child in a unique way.

You might also like a recent post from our Best of the Web series, featuring a fun video from comedian Frank Woodley with story time tips for Dads.

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A helicopter parent flies from the nest

(Pip Williams, Good Weekend)

When he son finished Year 12, the author thought that her days as a self-confessed helicopter parent were over. With that rite of passage complete, the helicopter parent would be grounded.

‘I had turned into an automaton,’ the author writes of her parenting style. ‘I said the same things at the same time every day. Teeth? Deodorant? Have you got your lunch? Your wallet? Your phone?’

Of course, there was no magic transformation. She needed to get away – far way –to allow her son to grow into adulthood.

This is a beautifully written an sharply observed piece that was part of Good Weekend‘s Summer Reading series of short stories by big writers.

You might also like our article Too much love: When good parenting becomes overparenting.

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