Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The end of helicopter parenting?

I hope it's true (but it's in Time, which is wrong about oh so much). Anyway, the aging, archaic newsweekly reports that helicopter parenting -- that freaky, overbearing, effort to program every kid like some kind of robo-child, customized for success -- is on its way out.
All great rebellions are born of private acts of civil disobedience that inspire rebel bands to plot together. And so there is now a new revolution under way, one aimed at rolling back 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 never planned on overparenting my son -- unless you count training him early to mix the perfect manhattan as an exercise in excess (well ... maybe so) -- and my family lives in an area that's strongly resistant to the parenting school of thought that shuttles kids between Mandarin for Toddlers and lessons in playing musical instruments that mass twice as much as the budding musician. But I've never been terribly fond of what helicopter parents were doing to their kids and the culture around them. Millions of college freshmen unable to decide between fake-ID vendors without first making a cell phone call to mommy are just too depressing.

So maybe now more kids will get to be ... kids.

That's good news.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

When my then 15 yr old showed me her fake ID (we live in a country where the drinking age is 18) and asked if I thought the quality was OK, I figured I had done a pretty good parenting job.

Never heard of "helicopter parenting" before now.

December 1, 2009 5:10 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

It would be great if it could be the end of judging each others parenting also. I think that makes some people crazy that they are being watched so they have to do everything perfectly. Perfect kids, perfect school, perfect teachers - ahhh. Freedom to parent how we each individually feel is best for our family would do a lot toward getting rid of the compulsive helicopter parent.

December 7, 2009 2:59 PM  

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