Some ideas spread far and wide quickly, then seem to fizzle just as fast. In 2009, one book ignited the barefoot running craze. In just a few months, runners everywhere were going natural or tiptoeing along in form fitting, paper thin shoes that looked like a cross between scuba gear and rubber gloves for your feet. And within just a few years, while the lessons covered in the book might still have had legs, the accompanying barefoot mania had passed. Barefoot running might have its merit, but in practice, it was largely a passing fad.
On the other hand, Julie Lythcott-Haims’s book, How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, has been enjoying a different arc. Her message has been spreading slowly and deliberately since the book’s release two years ago. Parents, counselors, and administrators have been passing along their copies, inviting her to speak on their campuses, and urging parents in their own circles to take and follow Julie’s advice. Today, Lythcott-Haims is on a regular speaking circuit. And the press is giving her supportive messages a nice lift. Here’s a summary of the tips she shared during a recent radio interview (the link to the audio of the interview is at the bottom of the article).
Her book might have taken a while to take off. But I’m really hoping its slow and steady burn is a sign people see her approach as one worth keeping, rather than just a passing fad that will eventually run its course.