More Hype Over Over-Parenting

In the New Yorker, Joan Acocella summarizes concerns about over-parenting from several books, many of them not new. As I read the five-page article, my annoyance grew. Who _isn’t_ against overparenting, except those who are too oblivious to realize they’re doing it? And isn’t this truly a small number, hardly the epidemic that articles like this about books like these imply?

A final question that one has to ask is whether the overparenting trend is truly the emergency that these authors say it is. In the manner of popular books on psychology, the commentators tend to forget that they are talking, for the most part, about a minority.

Further, my experience says it’s a no-win situation. I’ve been criticized for over-parenting, and I’ve been criticized for under-parenting. In the end, I quietly remind myself that I’m the one who spends almost all day every day with my kids. Mother knows best, and is doing her best. I do not need a book, or an article, to scare me to the other side of the parenting continuum, thank you. These books aren’t there to help parents. On the contrary, they seem more likely to result in an increased culture of judgment against parents. Not helpful. (Link from Blog of a Bookslut)

One Response to “More Hype Over Over-Parenting”

  1. Kai Jones Says:

    Say it’s only one overparent per school. That’s hundreds of thousands of them across the US; that qualifies as an epidemic to me.

    As a parent myself (my boys are now 18 and 22), I’ve always figured society would blame everything on me no matter what, and (like you) I have always done what I thought was right for my kids, because I know them better than anybody else. My guiding principle was “My goal is to raise independent, contributing members of society who have the tools to find their own happiness.” I used that metric for any major decision and some minor ones.