Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Overparenting on Parade
Grab the November issue of The New Yorker and thumb to The Child Trap: The Rise of Overparenting by Joan Acocella. It's a good look at the recent parenting phenomenon - you know, spoiling (toys, few rules, too many birthday parties) combined with parental anxiety (are formula, tv, baby, germs, etc., harming my child?) and academic achievement demands (nursery interviews, phonics for toddlers, mandarin for preschoolers). She sorts through a few recent books on the topic - like "A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Overparenting" by Psychology Today editor Hara Estroff Marano. Books that basically sound the alarms about today's children, tomorrow's unemployed, listless adults. Fortunately Acocella ask a critical question - is this a real emergency? an epidemic? or could is be a very small segment of the population hovering over their children?