Obama, swine flu, and sexting, oh my!

A countdown of the top education stories of 2009 and what they mean to you.

By GreatSchools Staff

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6. A new epidemic ravaging the nation

Hint: It's not an influenza associated with beloved childhood oinkers Babe, Wilbur, and Piglet. Stumped? It's called … overparenting. And according to experts, legions of loving parents have been positively stricken with this new social illness, which ultimately ruins their children. In the old days, the only thing that cured this widespread disease was what is traditionally known as a "chill pill," prescribed by teenagers with a roll of the eyes. Now there are classes, therapists, and books that attempt to pry parental talons from little ones' lives.

Is this all a blizzard in a blogroll? No doubt. On the other hand, with everyone from world leaders (see #7) to GreatSchools scribblers urging parents to become more involved in their children's education, it's only natural that some might go overboard and assume more is more. Are your kids giving you signs that you're helping too much for their own good?

Our diagnosis: Skip the classes and take a proverbial chill pill. Let your children learn some lessons the hard way — by making their own mistakes.