Teacups and crispies- two new terms coined by college officials in California to describe kids of anxious parents who over-manage their kids because they’re scared that their parenting skills are inadequate and therefore their kids will suffer by missing the boat. Parents who over-protect their children are creating fragile “teacups” who shatter and cannot fend for themselves; parents who push their kids too hard are creating “crispies” that burn out and cannot reach their potential either- just what these anxious parents hoped to avoid by their over-management ( MacVean, M.). “Teacups” and “crispies” come in all ages- even college age.
I’ve had “teacups”and “crispies” in my classes. If you’re a teacher, you’ve probably had them in your classes too. Last semester a student told me that his Mom considers a mark of 78% a fail and dreaded taking his mid term report home. A colleague told me a father of one of her students actually made a point of arguing about the loss of one- half percent on his child’s test. I had a student whose mom overprotected him by insisting he come home for lunch everyday even though he was in grade 11 and wanted to stay at school with friends. She would also visit the school during the day to check and see that he was O.K. His Mom was driving him crazy.
These over anxious moms, it’s mostly moms, don’t limit their over-management to school. They do things like test for radon in the home, provide lists of food their children can’t have when going to visit friends. They carry their kids backpacks, lunch boxes, and class projects to school. It seems to me that most kids get driven to school now or drive themselves to school; hardly any kids seem to walk to school. Walking to school is a great opportunity to get some exercise. Parents are afraid of predators, fear that kids are having oral sex at bar mitzvah parties, or that there are only 10 colleges worth going to( Mogel as cited in MacVean, 2011). One school even had red washcloths so that if students got cut, they would be protected from the sight of blood (Mogel as cited in MacVean, 2011 ). Oh my goodness!