Parents, park your helicopters
Bravo for Time magazine's cover story this week noting the backlash that is growing over "the almost comical overprotectiveness and overinvestment of moms and dads."
"The insurgency goes by many names — slow parenting, simplicity parenting, free-range parenting — but the message is the same: Less is more; hovering is dangerous; failure is fruitful. You really want your children to succeed? Learn when to leave them alone. When you lighten up, they'll fly higher. We're often the ones who hold them down."
I'm really getting tired of defending the fact that I let my 6 year old walk the dog alone or a 10 year old roam the neighborhood on his bike and just check in now and again, or go a whole season without being signed up for any organized sports. We live in a nice quiet neighborhood, not downtown Tehran, but you'd think I was letting them play in a minefield. In the last 15 years, the crime rate has plunged, but anxiety has skyrocketed.
Fear of danger is one thing, fear of failure is another. That's where tutors and music lessons and pitching coaches come in. And that's where an overparenting backlash is also coming from the Slow Parenting Movement, which says it's okay to take a simpler approach to parenting and cut back on all those extra activities and toys. The message: Parents should just chill. It's okay to pay attention to your own needs and back off on the kids. Everyone will be happier.
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne