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!

photo uploaded from Flickr


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3 Responses to “Some parents are so scared of doing the wrong thing they over-manage their children and make them fragile or push them to the limit so they burnout.”

  1. teachermum on March 24th, 2011 5:32 am

    Well said! It lies exactly in line with the ‘resilience’ we are trying to promote in our school. I think they should publish your blog article in parent newsletters.
    Teacups and crispies idea is brilliant.
    teachermum´s last blog post ..‘Gone Surfing’

  2. Teacups and Crispies | Teacher Mum on March 25th, 2011 6:40 am

    […] have just finished reading an interesting article on Teacher’s At Risk which uses the great terminology of ‘Teacups’ and […]

  3. The Importance of Failure | Containing Multitudes on January 13th, 2012 7:21 am

    […] really just an objective evaluation of an assignment, but she feels like it is a personal attack!. That is why we often call our students “teacups.” They are just so fragile! Without failure, students never learn their full potential. When […]

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