Why is the number of micromanaging, obsessively-hovering parents growing, and what’s that doing to our kids?

According to author and economic journalist Megan McArdle, the increase is due partly to the “professionalization” of a generation: Compared with our parents’ time, there are fewer small business owners and more salaried positions in ever-larger firms.

So, instead of being able to pass along a small family business to our children, we feel we need to push them to get the credentials that will make them successful in a super competitive world. And “many teenagers…do not quite have the emotional maturity and long-term planning skills for the high-stakes economic competitions they find themselves engaged in. So their parents intervene…”

Worryingly, “the more inequality widens, the more obesssively they will manage their kids through school…” which in the end will limit economic mobility even more, given that parents who aren’t professionals will struggle more with this feat, McArdle argues.

So, what is this doing to our kids? McArdle has written a book about that, but summarizes it in a recent editorial (National Post Dec. 3, 2015, p. A12, from which the quotes above come) as “a generation growing up anxious, risk-averse and generally unable to cope with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

Definitely cause for concern.

Are you a helicopter parent? Well, here’s a self-quiz offered by one source:

And here’s a link to McArdle’s website ( and book: