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Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by WaylonJennings, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. As Mrs. Jennings and I are about to become parents for the first time, I found this article in NY Times magazine this weekend particularly interesting:


    It's short - a column, really. But it heralds the coming end to "helicopter parenting" and perhaps a move of the pendulum back to the days when kids rode their bikes all over town, didn't have to conform to an organized schedule, etc., etc.

    My wife and I have talked about these things a lot, which hopefully will give us a leg up on my own parents, who did the best they could but clearly never really discussed parenting philosophies before I came along. My upbringing was one mixed message after another, with my dad parenting out of the 1940s spare-the-rod style and my mom being somewhat more nurturing (though equally screwing me up in the long-term :)

    Essentially, we feel that we want a core of our parenting philosophy to be setting a good example for our children. That means in our own relationship - affectionate, no fighting in front of the kids, etc. - but also in our careers and outside interests and such.

    I definitely don't want to be one of those parents that carts their kid from town to town for a travel softball team - for the kid's sake as much as mine. I just don't believe in it. On the other hand, the most well-adjusted girls I ever meet are the ones who excel at individual high school sports like cross country and tennis. So I'm afraid to completely ignore the development of confidence-boosting activities like those (or playing an instrument or whatever other passion my child my stumble into).

    I don't want to hover. At the same time, I want us to be a close family, and I want our child(ren) to have every opportunity available.

    Thoughts? Experiences?
  2. waterytart

    waterytart Active Member

    Waylon, with all respect, you're getting way ahead of yourself. For the next six months, if you want to influence your baby by modeling good behavior (an excellent choice, by the way), you might focus on bathing. But if you have enough time to undress, shower and re-dress, what you'll want to do is sleep. What you'll need to do is laundry.

    (You'll be fine. But worrying now about what sport an unborn child will play sort of is hovering. In the most loving and natural way. :))
  3. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    If you had only described this piece, without mentioning where you saw it, I would have said, 'classic NYT.' Goes in the file labelled 'Relatively Affluent People Whose Lives We Don't Really Relate to, So We'll Show Them as One Dimensional Trite Cliches and Do a Story for Our Really Enlightened Readers.'

    Note to the writer: I bet they didn't have 'parenting blogs' before the 20th century either.

    I defer to everything in Watery's really great post, but just want to add, if your kid really really wants to play travel soccer, just get in the car and drive. 8)
  4. OK, maybe I'll let him/her play travel soccer. But no way in hell would I be caught dead in some warm-up jacket with the logo for the "Indiana Smashers" or something along those lines :) No "gear" for dad. I have my dignity! And, of course, no minivan.
  5. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I'm working like hell to raise my kid without ever reading or writing a parenting blog. It'll be four years in August!

    The "parental minivan: waving the white flag on life" thread was interesting a couple months ago. I confess, I want one. Wife doesn't.
  6. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    You have no minivan.
  7. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I'm a pretty big fan of the so-called "free-range kids" movement (other than the stupid name and the overreaching sense of nostalgia) described in the article.

    We'll see if I can actually go through with it when Little Stain comes in August.
  8. I'm going to go old-school. Station wagon.
  9. JR

    JR Active Member

    As the father of two kids who attend a university where entitled kids are the rule rather than the exception, I can tell you that the parents described in the column are not one dimensional trite cliches. Many of the ones I've met are just plain one-dimensional.

    And Waylon, I wouldn't worry too much about travel teams and sports. It may turn out that your kid has no interest in any of that and may be quite happy sitting in his/her room reading, painting or learning a musical instrument.
  10. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Reason No. 3,298 I'll never have kids. No chance I would let my kids sit in their room reading, painting or learning a musical instrument when they could be outside playing.
  11. This is one thing I've liked about living in predominantly black neighborhoods - the kids are always out playing, much more than in affluent white neighborhoods. It must be a cultural and/or socioeconomic thing.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  12. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you weren't my dad.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
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