6.04.2009

Let the Kid Be

Julie Blackmon/Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago

So, perusing the Sunday New York Times - which is not something I often get to do lately - I came across this story written by Lisa Belkin about a new trend she sees in 'slow parenting'. As much as I'm personally in agreement with not hovering constantly over the kids or having major expectations - I'm Nonchalant Mom for goodness sake - I don't particularly like the idea of putting parenting into such a thing as a trend. It makes it sound like it's a fashion. There are as many different types of parenting as there are parents - and as long as they are full of LOVE for the children, then they should be fine. Anyhow, the article seems to have prompted some debate in the responses section - and if you have a minute, I'd like you to read it and hear what you might have to say about it.

7 comments:

amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay said...

i like it. I feel like it is kinda how i want to parent- but i do think at the end of the day it will become a trend as most things do and force guilt into mothers who are not doing it right. I dunno. i think I am grumpy this morning or something. :) I guess i loved it though. lol.

Nicole Feliciano said...

What a refreshing trend. How to we hope to create a generation of problem solvers (and oh are there problems to be solved) without letting our children experiment and go free-range if you will.

Paige West said...

I have always been a nonchalant mom (in more ways than one - laid back and obsessed with "the" nonchalant mom here) and I was a little bummed to be categorized like that. I think in NY especially a more laid back attitude is a great trend, but why must parenting be typed? Won't an article in the NY Times claiming trend create another set of women geared to reaching the dictionary definition of this trend. My motto. Just be. And while your at it just be you. And let them just be them.

kmberrien said...

I agree that trends in parenting are not the best. Not at all. However, if there is going to be one I think this is a good one. It is sort of like taking the best of the 50s (sending the kids out to play in the morning and calling them in for meals - how my parents were raised, and very happily) and leaving the worst (fairly damaging methods of discipline. The best parenting method, as you said in your post, is to do what feels right for you and your family and do it with tons of love. If a kid grows up knowing he or she is loved genuinely and unconditionally then I think they will be just fine.

mespetites said...

I don't feel like trends in parenting are really like fashion. People are just trying to do a better job, there is nothing wrong with that. But I think when the author says, "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." That is what is really happening. I am a New Yorker (although temporarily relocated for work) and believe me having attended preschool interviews with 2 and 3 yr olds - watch out! There were emotional meltdowns, performance anxiety attacks, temper tantrums and we're talking both parents and children. I really think that some of these parents are tightening their belts and realizing when far is too far!

Jeannie Lorenz said...

Well, I am learning how to parent as I go... I'd like to think I am nonchalant, but I have to admit that I want my child to be brilliantly educated, well-traveled, well-read, independent-minded, kind, philanthropic, etc (not necessarily in that order!!). I agree with the other commenter, that the bottom line is LOVE.

Please see a recent NYT oped by David Brooks about a study that found that Harvard grads could be just as un-happy as anyone else (shocker!!) unless they had a strong love in their life.

nonchalant mom said...

I think that everyone has such good comments on this story. I think that new yorkers have an even more difficult time because everyone is so concentrated, it's hard NOT to listen to others comments about your own parenting. I reminds me when a macrobiotic counselor once said to me "when you live in NYC don't cook with a pressure cooker because there is already so much pressure", I think that pretty much sums it up.