Same obsession, new disguise?

Published by Lori Pickert on June 4, 2009 at 01:17 PM

All this certainly dovetails nicely with new economic realities. When you can’t afford those violin lessons or a baby sitter to accompany your 10-year-old to the park, you can turn guilt on its head and call it a parenting philosophy. But is it fundamental change? Or is the apparent decline of overparenting (and its corollaries: feelings of competition and inadequacy) actually the same obsession donning a new disguise?

The one constant over the past century has been parents’ determination to find the right answers when it comes to raising their children. In this latest chapter, we have replaced the experts who told us what a good parent worries about with experts who tell us that a good parent doesn’t worry so much. We may even see parents stop aiming to prove how perfect they are and start trying to prove how nonchalant they are. But worry is worry. The search to keep from messing up goes on.

Let the Kid Be, New York Times

Well, this just dovetails too neatly with what we were talking about this week.

This article really rankles me. What do you think?

30 comments

Comment by Lori Pickert on June 4, 2009 at 01:22 PM

i just want to state for the record, i do *not* “gleefully call myself a ‘bad mommy’.” ick.

this is also a good quote from the article: “At its core, raising children is about instinct and biology, yes, but on top of that, we build an artificial scaffold, which supports what we have come to think of as parenting truths but are really only parenting trends.”

so when we talk about making a choice different from what most people seem to be doing, evidently we are simply *starting a new trend*. interesting.

Comment by Queen of Carrots on June 4, 2009 at 05:52 PM

I think it is a trait of our current time and technology that it's almost impossible to not operate in terms of trends and "celebrities" (of whatever minute sub-group). The ease of communication and travel causes people to ally themselves based on lifestyle choices rather than accidents of geography and kinship. The emphasis on the personal of television, blogging, etc., means we can always find some compelling personality who does things "our" way only a little bit cooler.

In other words, I think it's deeper and broader than parenting. It's the way we approach life altogether and without tossing out modern technology and moving to a remote island with cranky neighbors I'm not sure there's much we can do about it except constantly remind ourselves not to be defined by "people like us" while still enjoying the benefits of being able to talk to people with common interests.

Comment by Annika on June 4, 2009 at 07:17 PM

I think I should get credit for starting this nonchalant trend. (I know my kid is only three, which may put me out of the running. But if there are any new parents adopting the trend, I want credit.)

Comment by Alison Kerr on June 4, 2009 at 08:04 PM

Personally I don't feel a need or desire to be part of any kind of parenting trend. What makes sense to me makes sense to me whether it makes sense to others or not. It's nice to have like-minded friends, access to resources from like-minded people, and the wisdom of others who've tried a certain path. But I don't find it necessary to be part of a "movement" to go in a different, and worthwhile, direction.

The question is, do other parents feel the same way as me? Are trends and movements simply figments of the media's imagination, or convenient ways to try and explain what is happening in the world?

Comment by Lori Pickert on June 4, 2009 at 08:56 PM

Q.o.C., you are calm and cool and intellectual — you are my little-bit-cooler person of the day. ;^D

that remote island (but with NO neighbors — either that, or i am the cranky neighbor) looks better and better every day…

nice try, annika, but *i* want credit! ha. i’m filing the paperwork right now.

alison, i feel the same way — *however*, what i see with this article is someone pointing at you and saying “HAHA [imitating that kid on the Simpsons], you’re just part of a TREND.” pfft. it may be a point of view, but i have to say in my neighborhood it feels like more of a against-the-mainstream (as someone said in a comment on my last post) P.O.V. than a trend.

i remember back when my oldest son was a toddler and we took him to work with us every day. reading an article at lunch, i said to my husband: “hey — there’s a word for us. we’re *attachment parents*.” i suppose, really, trends are simply the media or sociologists or someone else noticing a change in the direction of the prevailing winds.

do you think they are figments of the media’s imagination? i think maybe they blow things out of proportion and call attention to what they like, no matter how common or uncommon it is.

Comment by amy c on June 4, 2009 at 08:59 PM

Lori, out of curiosity, what exactly rankles you about this?
As to Allison's response, I have to agree, parenting is such an intuitive process for me that if it fits. amen, and if it doesn't I will beat my head against a wall until I realize it, and regardless of what "others" are doing things only work for us if they fit into our value system and for lack of a better way to describe it , "feel" right. I often have to remind myself that mothering is a RELATIONSHIP which means I don't call all the shots.

Comment by Kjerstin on June 4, 2009 at 09:30 PM

I never think of anything I do as trendy, let alone my parenting choices. In any random group, I am usually the oddball parent, whether it schooling choices, discipline style, or scheduling. I am sure there are plenty of labels I could use to describe my parenting, ie. unschooling, unconditional parent, attachment, etc, that come from various authors, but I wouldn't call any of them trendy.

I also don't think there is currently a "decline of overparenting." I doubt there is really one coming. It seems to be a part of our American culture.

The NYT article mentions an author named Tom Hodgekinson and his book The Idle Parent. Here is an article he wrote about the idea (another label?): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/familyadvice/3355719/Idle-parenting-means-happy-children.html

It is an interesting read. I enjoyed the manifesto at the end of the article.

By the way, this is my first comment on your site, but I have enjoyed reading it for awhile now. :)

Comment by Stacey on June 4, 2009 at 10:04 PM

I find it amusing that some people right now feel that they need to read a book to tell them to follow their instinct and relax. I know I said this recently but I wonder what it was in our free childhoods that makes us feel like we need to control every experience our children go through.

I think a lot of this is an extension of our need to validate ourselves as adults (hear me out). The babyboomer (55+) refuse to gracefully take on their role as elders, they look at it disdainfully claiming that they are still young. This means that those of us who have reached what was once thought of as middle age, are not given the right to come into our role as full adults. Even if we have the lifestyle we are reminded that we couldn't possibly be adults since there is no way they are old. Since we are not seen as the middle generation (child, adult, elder) many still search for someone else to tell them what to do.

I wish that the words and concepts old and elder were not so disparaged, I personally look forward to being an old woman. Of course I want to be the kick-ass old woman hiking peaks at 75.

I hope I haven't insulted anyone with this idea, its one I think about a lot.

Comment by Theresa on June 4, 2009 at 10:28 PM

Then thing that irks me about this article is that according to the author we, as parents, are damned if we do and damned if we don't. If we try to micromanage we are just sheep following a trend. If we decide not to, we are just sheep following a trend. Parents get no credit for having minds of their own. The thing he does not seem to be able to grasp is that these are NOT the same parents adopting different parenting strategies each year. I was not a micro-manager a year ago then suddenly a relaxed parent this year.That would be mindlessly following a trend. I have ALWAYS been a relaxed parent. It just seems that attention is currently being drawn to my style of parenting. The truth is there has always been and will always be a wide variety of parenting strategies within the population and sooner or later each strategy draws attention to itself somehow because someone famous or "expert" promotes it. But I don't see many actual parents changing their parenting styles very much due to the trends of what is in vogue.New parents, perhaps, but most experienced parents hold their beliefs in how to parent too dear to be swayed by something so superficial as trends.

Comment by Theresa on June 4, 2009 at 10:31 PM

Oh, and Stacy, I am SO with you on the elders thing. I find the popularity of the "Sexy Grandma" T-shirts of the 70's to be the epitome of this type of Peter Pan thinking. Pathetic.

Comment by Amy on June 4, 2009 at 10:43 PM

What really rankled me in this article is this:
"...then diligently wore their babies in slings and nursed them into toddlerhood, all the while judging (and feeling judged by) those who did not do the same."

I do not "diligently" wear my babies and nurse them into toddlerhood. I do so because it feels right to me, not out of some martyr-like duty. I do not judge those who don't; I will offer breastfeeding advice when asked (and when I was in a moms club, I was the only one nursing a walker & talker, so I was sort of the one to ask), but I don't cast judgment. And I don't really care if anyone thinks poorly of me because I'm wearing the baby and nursing any ol' place. And notice how the article mentions three parenting authors in the first part of the sentence I quoted, but only slams the AP parents in the second part. (And for the record, I did attend an AP "support" group when my first was a baby, and I found it to be a very judgmental place. I don't have any use for that sort of "support," nor for parents who take on a label and then bludgeon other parents with it. I don't deny that there's an awful lot of judging going on out there.)

It's all very nice that I can wrap up my parenting style in the AP label because it makes it easier to explain--"Oh, we follow AP, pretty much." But we don't do what we do because we wanted to call ourselves AP; we do what we do because it felt right (okay, this is mainly me; my husband doesn't have any strong opinions on this). It just happens to have a name.

This, by the way, is why I don't read much mainstream media. ;)

Comment by reneegrace on June 5, 2009 at 12:56 AM

"parents’ determination to find the right answers when it comes to raising their children"

It seems this is not looked favorably upon... but of course as a parent you want to raise your kids the best you can, and you will look to different ways / methods to do it (call it trends or whatever one wants)... in some ways the media (I'll include books and blogs, etc in that) is a blessing to present information that one may have not been exposed to.

Regarding A.P. I wouldn't put myself in that category, necessarily, but I have learned SO very much from exploring it, and my growing-up years were far from the A.P. category. All I knew was the opposite of that.

I'm not saying anything, really, just rambling my thoughts... its odd how one can put such a negative, sarcastic slant on a bunch of true statements.

Comment by Lori Pickert on June 5, 2009 at 02:13 AM

amy, mm, re: being rankled, i suppose the reason the media has taken so many hits is because of articles like this one — the writer manages to slap down parents who care about giving their children every possible advantage on the one hand as overprotective and micromanaging and parents who want to set a slower pace and give their children unscheduled free time as lazy and/or cheap on the other.

let’s say i didn’t feel enlightened or educated by this bit o’ snark…

i hate when people try to label me. i consider myself un-label-able. ;^)

kjerstin, i’ve linked before to tom h’s “idle parent” column in the guardian — i enjoy his writing and his humor. :^)

yes! re: the labels that aren’t exactly trendy … i mean, attachment parenting was not the common parenting method at the time … and even now it seems to be a small segment of the parenting community.

thank you for commenting! i hope you do it again. ;^)

stacey, good, good thoughts … mm … i think i’m about a half-generation older than you, but i feel the exact same way about people who try to stay young and therefore avoid living each age. (it must be a *trend*!! :^P) i have said many times that i think by trying to stay 35 (or whatever) forever, women in their 50s are missing out on being … women in their 50s. it’s like a kind of self-hatred.

i don’t think it’s a right-now thing re: not trusting your instincts, either. i mean, look at the 50s and the mothers who were told not to breastfeed and not to hold their babies too much or pick them up when they cried (for fear of spoiling them). in fact, i would say it’s an *overwhelming* trend that people don’t trust themselves and their own instincts — i wouldn’t even narrow it down to parents or mothers.

theresa, yes! exactly! that’s what i was trying to say to amy c … the writer has set up a no-win situation for all parents. you are belittled no matter what choices you make. terrific!

i agree with you too re: the variety of parenting styles. the media simply shines their spotlight on one after the other. and i have also been a relaxed parent since the get-go, simply doing what felt right and natural to me. and i more or less always have felt in the minority while doing it!

amy, i know, i know — gah. you know, i get really, really tired of this “lets pit all the mommies against each other!” game. just because you make a choice for yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you are enemies with people who made a different choice.

your point about judgmental types is interesting — i think the people who do embrace trends and labels are usually the purist types, the ones who *are* more likely to demand fealty to the group or else.

renee, yes, it doesn’t seem like caring about being a good parent is a good thing! :^P and you are so right — the negative, sarcastic slant was what turned me off.

Comment by Kerry on June 5, 2009 at 02:24 AM

Lori,
I just want you to know that this blog *is* my "remote island", where I can go to remind myself that other people actually think like I do! I've pretty much had to stay away from the NY Times lately, I just can't swallow the judgmental, elitist tone anymore. It's pretty presumptuous to assume that parents aren't signing their kids up for all kinds of programs or lessons because they can't afford it! (and then are pretending to do it out of principle???!!!) This author, who is a mom herself, needs to get a grip!

Comment by Brynn on June 5, 2009 at 02:26 AM

I am struck by the fact that this representation of parenting seems to be so clearly the product of the educational culture that your readers and many others, thankfully, are eschewing. There are many well-intentioned parents that are indeed doing what the book, or the expert, or their neighbor is promoting because that is what they have been doing since they were five-what others told them to do! Let this stand as one more reason to educate our children for wholeness and authenticity so that they may one day parent with their hearts.

Comment by Cristina on June 5, 2009 at 02:51 AM

I find it amusing that the NY Times wrote this article, since I'm just north of the city and I can assure you that overparenting, helicoptering, whatever you want to call it is alive and well in Westchester. I suspect I will remain the odd duck since I still limit the activities we do (for my sanity), stay home with the kids, and homeschool for cryin' out loud!

I've been pushing the "take time for mom" line for years, trying to convince my fellow homeschoolers that you need to take time for yourself to avoid burnout and be a successful homeschooler! And yes, I've seen plenty of competitive overparenting among homeschoolers in my area. I'm pretty sure it's the fault of our Type A, high achieving community and news articles that try to define good parenting.

Now I'm thinking of Glinda from The Wizard of Oz. "Are you a good parent or a bad parent?" LOL

On the plus side, my parenting style is now considered "trendy" by NYT! Woohoo! Does that mean the critics will leave me alone for a month? :o)

Comment by Lori Pickert on June 5, 2009 at 03:17 AM

kerry, aw, thank you! :^) it is a lot easier to find like minds when you cast your net wide enough to include the whole world, isn’t it? ;^)

agree with you completely re: the writer and the article.

brynn — “There are many well-intentioned parents that are indeed doing what the book, or the expert, or their neighbor is promoting because that is what they have been doing since they were five-what others told them to do! Let this stand as one more reason to educate our children for wholeness and authenticity so that they may one day parent with their hearts.” — beautifully said!

oh, cristina, haven’t you *heard*, hs’ing is a trend, too. :^P

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-05-28-homeschooling-report_N.htm

lol re: glinda! i’m from the midwest, so i think that puts me squarely in the middle ’twixt good and bad. ;^)

Comment by estea on June 5, 2009 at 03:23 AM

just outlined the bones of the article to my husband, who laughed.

where to begin?

i dislike the self-congratulatory tone of this piece. "i have discovered there a tons of other chicks doing what dooce does and i'm here to tell you all about it".

i dislike that everything here sounds black and white; mothers are either smothering kids with daily cello lessons or guzzling tequila while the mean ol' toddler plays with the steak knives. thank you for the kindness of labeling us, ms belkin! we're not thinking for ourselves - no, no, we're deliberately choosing this *nonchalant* parenting *trend* to appear hipper than helicopter mom. i kept waiting for her to use "laissez faire" (she didn't).

good grief, charlie brown.

after reading a few of her previous columns on parenting, i've deduced belkin may *need* parenting to be a competition, so that she can be the FIRST to dish up the latest pseudo-cultural shift to us.

gee, was that too harsh?

Comment by Dawn on June 5, 2009 at 06:13 AM

Yes, the darned if you do and darned if you don't tone got to me too!

I was just talking to my husband this last week about the whole idea of parenting from books...
I think this "trend" may have started for a few reasons...
One... new parents are isolated from extended family and therefore have fewer opportunities to see effective parenting in action.
Two... the parenting they have been exposed to has not been effective and therefore they are left without examples to follow.
So where, as a new young parent, do you turn for guidance? As we have all been taught... if you want to know more about something you talk to the people who know or read a book!
A new parent in this situation is going to end up reading the "hot book" of the times or the book that is recommened by other young parents they met up with at the park or play group...
I have never defined my parenting by a trend but I have found myself searching for examples of what I would like to be like as a parent...

Comment by Lori Pickert on June 5, 2009 at 12:56 PM

estea, not too harsh for me!

agree re: the b&w tone, and as i said somewhere up above there, that b&w attitude is also pitting us against each other. when we were talking about over-scheduled kids earlier this week, ellen stood up for good activities and we were quick to say we weren’t anti-activity, we just wanted to champion leaving some unscheduled time for kids. is that b&w, mom-against-mom? no.

now excuse me, i need to go check the times to see what sunglasses we hipster parents are wearing this year.

dawn, beautiful point about why parents might have turned to books for advice in the first place. i’ll suggest yet another — i notice that many of my friends having babies in the last 10 years had very little experience with babies and small children. they hadn’t babysat and they didn’t have siblings or cousins who were babies when they were young. so they really felt like neophytes when they had their own children. in the old days, you grew up around babies because you were close to your extended family, and in my days you babysat from the time you turned 11 or 12. you grew up with a lot of knowledge gleaned from other adults, family members, and your own experiences.

good point again about the hot book of the moment — of course new parents are going to reach for the very latest in parenting tips!

re: looking for examples … i was thinking about something very similar to this last night … it’s not that we’re looking to jump onto a trend, it’s that we’re looking for the thing that is “like us” — the way we already think and feel, the thing similar to our own choices to define what we do. trends reveal current directions of thinking — but this article would have you think people blindly follow parenting trends like fashion trends.

Comment by Christina on June 5, 2009 at 05:17 PM

This concept of labeling parenting styles makes me think of labeling homeschooing styles. Last year when I was researching hsing, reading every book I could get my hands on, most books had large chapters dedicated to the various "styles" of hsing: unit studies, Charlotte Mason, traditional, unschooling. I don't usually feel the need to label myself, but this was all so new to me and I felt somewhat insecure in my ability to do it. I think I felt the need to associate myself with one particular style, and as I read I would think, "Well, I *kind-of* agree with that. And I agree with that, but not with that . . . " I realized that MY style (basically, what feels right to me for my kids--as many people have mentioned with general parenting) was just a mix of all these things . . . and it turns out that there's a label for that too . . . HA . . . eclectic :) (Which I don't ever use either.)

I agree with the great comments about why we feel the need to define ourselves, or turn to books to do it for us, or associate ourselves with a trend. Often times, we are insecure. Parenting, no matter how much you've seen other people do it, is a whole different animal when you are in the middle of it. I feel like I'm stumbling through it (and hsing) sometimes, just doing the best I can.

Comment by Cristina on June 5, 2009 at 05:50 PM

Lori: Ah yes, the USA Today report. That follows the findings on pages 15 and 134-5 of this report:
http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009081.pdf

I've been ranting about that on Henry Cate's blog, Why Homeschool, so I'll spare you. ;o) Perhaps I will go completely unschooling and insist that I'm not a homeschooler anymore!

I agree that parenting trends should not be viewed as fashion trends. It is a shame that there is this incessant need to classify and categorize everything. I know a very diverse crowd of homeschooling parents and each has their own story as to how they ended up homeschooling. The one thing we have in common is that we strive to be good parents and do the best for our children, however we may define "best".

The most freeing moment for me as a parent was when I decided to stop reading what the experts had to say and start trusting my gut. It isn't easy, and I still have doubts every day whether I'm screwing them up, but at least I'm taking responsibility for raising them! I don't need an expert to make me feel guilty. :o)

Comment by Tracey on June 5, 2009 at 08:00 PM

I'm wondering what the author's parenting style is.

I'm a laid back person naturally, but I've found that my style isn't really the style of either of my children. They each have their own style... so I parent them differently (not extreme differences, but different limits, types of discipline, etc.). It also means different things in different environments. At times I helicopter (hehe) and at others it looks like I've abandoned them.

All in all, I'm not offended or annoyed by this article... it's just another article aimed at getting emotional responses. I feel sorry for the "trendy" parents who don't know what to do after reading it... ~;-)

Comment by Lori Pickert on June 5, 2009 at 11:44 PM

christina, yes, and i also think — we use it as a kind of shorthand, really, right? so as amy was saying, when you say “AP, more or less”, other moms know what you mean. so if you say “unschooling” — even though i think that term is fairly meaningless due to the *wide* variety of ways people “unschool” — you are giving someone a more-or-less idea of the way you do things.

i do think it takes confidence and strength to say “we’re doing our own thing, making the choices that work best for us” and not cling to a certain label or group — and most of us have to work toward the strength and confidence. you don’t start out there! we are all learning as we go, after all.

and now i’m off to henry’s blog to read your rants… ;^)

tracey, interesting question … i wonder what she would say! :^)

beautiful point about how we parent our different children differently — and come on! you are so right — if someone followed me around with a camera for a few weeks, i’m sure they could edit the footage to make me look *either* like a crazy helicopter parent *or* like a free-range, slow-learning devotee. because you’re right — sometimes we step in and other times we step back! how many people really fit these stereotypes to a T?

rofl re: the trend-hopping parents who will be confused by the article… ;^)

Comment by Alison Kerr on June 7, 2009 at 05:11 PM

I've been thinking more about this thread. Have you noticed the human tendency to group people? I'm a this and she's a that. I've got a suspicion that the NYT author is really into this group mentality. What I've observed is that the idea of grouping people allows 'us' to disregard those who are 'other'. So, we just say that people are part of a trend, of which we are not part, and we can feel free to disregard them because they are different. Am I making sense? I use the word 'us' in quotation marks, because I personally think we are all human beings first and foremost and I don't like either labeling or being labeled. So many people use labeling/grouping as a convenience. It's a way to try and simplify and then just fail to think about something.

Comment by Deirdre on June 8, 2009 at 05:44 AM

Epitome of Snark. Yuck.

Ultimately the author might have thought her intention was similar to Lori's constant theme here---that we have to trust our children and ourselves. Instead, her condescension just reinforces self-doubt.

The pendulum swings and while most people stay right where they were, I believe there is a reaction coming now to the uber-parenting trend. I don't know if things ever really change that much, but what is "cool" does change with the seasons, and if things are leaning more toward laid-back, let's hope that catches on! But like the real fans that followed the band before they had a top-40, it will be annoying to have your heartfelt philosophy served up as the latest trend that can be tossed out when the new one arrives next season.

I was raised surrounded by babies (as the 4th of nine kids) by the world's most laid-back mother...and I read everything I could get my hands on when I became a mom. Not to learn what to do, but to learn what I believe...and because I cared a great deal about the kind of mother I would become ---and if I care about something, I read about it --"that's what I do. That's all I do":0). My mom had a ton of things going for her, but I don't think she ever stood back, not even a little and thought about what kind of mother she was choosing to be, or even realized she had a choice.

People are parenting more consciously today, and their choices might be similar or radically different from ours, but I do believe that trend---of being aware of your choices---is a good one.

This article reminded me of a much better one that reached the same conclusion but in a much more honest way. Anna Quindlan in NYT 2000:

"There was babbling I forgot to do, stimulation they never got, foods I meant to introduce and never got around to introducing. If a black-and-white mobile really increases depth perception and early exposure to classical music increases the likelihood of perfect pitch, I blew it. The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact, and I was sometimes over-the-top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That’s what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were."

Loved catching up on all this good stuff tonight!

Comment by Lori Pickert on June 8, 2009 at 02:30 PM

alison, absolutely! all the way back to caveman days — us vs. them. the thing that is at the root of all conflict.

hopefully we can develop a bit further and look for the things we have in common, the things we can learn from each other.

deirdre, lolol terminator quote. ;^)

agree completely re: people parenting more consciously. this is how i feel — that i am really thinking about it and making very deliberate choices. of course, that’s what rankles so much when someone dismisses you with an idle wave of the hand, calling you a trend-follower.

excellent A.Q. quote! thank you so much for bringing that into the discussion; it’s perfect. :^)

Comment by Barbara in NC on June 9, 2009 at 02:54 AM

Ugh, there's so much to be annoyed with in that short little article!

I hate the implication that parents are all neurotic sheep, just waiting to be told what to do. Hmmmm, I wonder why...perhaps because we are inundated by books and experts that tell us to listen to them rather than trust our own instincts and observations??

And then there's the idea that being a thoughtful or conscientious parent is necessarily pathological, a sign that you don't have your own life or that you're too enmeshed with your kids. Not that it doesn't happen, but we just don't value close parent-child relationships, especially as kids grow.

I don't know. It's a shame that parenting is so often viewed as a formula that will give you the desired product. How tragic to miss out on the process, the every day of living and growing with our kids. Which I guess is the author's point--parents are looking for that perfect formula that will result in a perfectly adjusted and brilliant child. But I guess that in my experience, few parents of any ilk actually buy into the crazy idea that there's one way to do this--and all the happy parents I know spend a lot of time enjoying the PROCESS of parenting, not just racing for the finish line.

Okay, I'll stop my late-night rant now.

Comment by Lori Pickert on June 10, 2009 at 01:59 AM

barbara — agreed! :^)

and the same group of people who inundate us with articles about how to parent (and how we’re doing it wrong and all the trends) are the same ones who then call us neurotic sheep. :^/

love your point that being a thoughtful, purposeful parent can actually be a good thing! of course, it’s easier if you’re on a media diet. ;^)

“[W]e just don't value close parent-child relationships, especially as kids grow.” i can’t disagree with this, but i find it incredibly sad.

so true about focusing on the process and not the product — i think we could apply that to every aspect of american life, actually. there’s a real race-to-the-end, get-the-prize mentality. when the prize is really today.

Comment by Barbara in NC on June 10, 2009 at 02:14 AM

"The prize is today."

A great mantra for those challenging moments!

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