Letters to the Editor: UC Berkeley needs an ‘adulting’ class because of helicopter parenting

UC Berkeley's Sather Tower
The Campanile at UC Berkeley, where students can enroll in an undergraduate-taught class on “adulting.”
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: At first, this 50-ish mom was amused by letters that ridiculed UC Berkeley students who might need elective classes to teach them such mundane everyday skills as cooking and budgeting. But then I reflected on the role that ever more prevalent “helicopter parenting” plays in producing high school graduates unprepared for independent living.

A friend who, like me, has college-age children and I were just talking about this. We agreed that our kids could all prepare a decent meal for themselves and that they can competently do laundry.

Really, it’s easy to teach kids this stuff. You just stop doing it for them. They will figure out how to do it, and if they have questions they will ask. These are simple truths that seem lost in this epidemic of helicopter parenting.


UC Berkeley might not need to offer its students “adulting” classes if those parents were provided classes in effective parenting.

Marta Tehrani, Santa Monica


To the editor: Did the letter writers who criticized the students at UC Berkeley who take a class on “adulting” read the original column, or did they simply react to the headline?

According to the article, the class in question was conceived of and is being taught by students in reaction to a need they identified. This need is a result of cuts to consumer education and home economics classes in high schools as well as the increased focus on school and resume-burnishing extracurriculars at the expense of activities that build life skills.

These changes are in response to an increasingly competitive college application process. Rather than mocking them and the class, the students should be commended for preparing themselves for life in and after college.

And tying this to Trump’s election? Come on. Only 37% of millennials voted for him, and most of these students couldn’t even vote in 2016.


Katherine Lansing, Altadena