I came across this great article on helicopter parenting around the world – “A Cure for Hyper-Parenting”
Apparently, it’s not just Americans who are hyper parents!
In short, here’s what the NY Times article by Pamela Druckerman instructs us about good parenting:
1. Matthias Doepke and Fabrizio Zilibotti say intensive parenting springs from “rising inequality, because parents know there’s a bigger payoff for people with lots of education and skills.” Maybe – I haven’t done a lot of thinking on this. I read that this phenomenon is creating an even greater gap between the “haves” and “have nots” who can’t afford tutors, test prep, private sports coaches….
2. People around the world are breeding later in life, when they’re richer and more grateful, so the whole parenting experience becomes “hallowed”. Makes sense – it also stands to reason that having kids after “achieving” in the workplace means there’s one more place to show off our “achievement-driven” sensibilities…
Here’s the advice Ms. Druckerman gives in the article- many of which are cited from other sources. She did a great job of putting gathering some useful nuggets:
- Keep Calm and Parent On — expect more from your kids – even though it can be messy
- Kid parties should be DROP-OFFS – use the time for yourself! Between the mid-1990s and 2008, college-educated American moms began spending more than nine additional hours per week on child care; this came directly out of their leisure time.
- Enjoy the MOMENT- don’t always push for a Harvard degree. Said a better way: “total commitment to the process, total equanimity about the outcome.”
- Most parenting crises are caused by exhaustion – try sleeping more and attacking issues when calm and rested.
- Have less stuff- the more you have, the more you have to organize, take care of, repair, and think about.
- Work-life balance is nearly impossible to achieve- FORGIVE YOURSELF!
- Teach emotional intelligence to your kids- and live it yourself- size up the other individual before you care what they think of you!
- Enact the Mandela rule – “You can get what you want by showing people ordinary respect.”
I love this:
Scandinavians complain of “curling parents,” a reference to the sport in which you frantically scrub the ice to let a stone glide across it.
Maybe even a better analogy than a helicopter?!?!