We’ve seen elementary schools that appeared to have more moms in the halls than children, and we’ve heard tales of parents attempting to sit in on their offspring’s interviews for law school.
Of course, parenting swings “like a pendulum do,” and we may have arrived once again at — or at least be on the road to — a slightly relaxed, somewhat self-deprecating mode that I call “Good Enough” parenting. If this is remotely true, it seems healthy to me.
Lisa Belkin, writing in the New York Times Magazine last weekend, cited the first wave of the change as one during which the sins of the parent are confessed, and the second wave as the action-oriented (or inaction, as the case may be) Slow Movement. In her piece, “Let the Kid Be”, she quotes Carl Honore, among others, and wonders if the same anxieties that have been at the root of other parenting trends are at work here.
That could be — Parenting is surely not without anxieties. But it seems that a true embrace of the Slow would at least add a little perspective, which in the process could increase joy, decrease fear, and promote healthy, versus hovering, involvement in our kids’ lives. Then, perhaps, some of the helicopters would, at long last, find themselves back on the ground.
Photo by Susan Sachs Lipman