The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Maybe mothers have a reason

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I found Mitch Daniels’s disingenuously admiring May 7 op-ed, “Hail to mothers, even those who can’t let go of college-age kids,” passive-aggressive and charmless. By focusing on supposedly amusing anecdotes of overprotective mothers, Mr. Daniels failed to understand why these patterns exist or how a university can constructively engage beyond public shaming. Could it be that mothers feel unheard and unsupported by the institutions that are supposed to help and not judge?

No parent wants to raise a dependent, entitled child, but Mr. Daniels’s extreme examples seem to suggest that good parenting ends with paying tuition. In reality, the world can be scary and complicated, and sometimes even young adults need support. Parents need partners in their community with authentic ideas, not a pat on the head for fulfilling their “noble mission,” and it helps no one to make mothers someone’s sarcastic punch line on Mother’s Day weekend.

Caryn Anthony, Silver Spring