Time has published an article on the phenomenon of “Helicopter Parents,” which describes the wide-spread practice of over-parenting. In my opinion, this problem is particularly nefarious as it pertains to boys, as I have mentioned elsewhere.
According to the article there is a new movement called “slow-parenting,” or “free-range parenting,” the latter, an interesting colloquialism that I am not sure I will get used to. There are all kinds of Phd’s and self-appointed experts who are prepared to convince and train parents to be more laid-back and offer less control and “hovering” over their children. That is all well and good, except that neither the writer, nor the experts seem to see over-parenting as part of a larger phenomenon of a society that has gone to extremes on so many levels.
The writer notes that parents are recognizing that they are too busy and have too little time to recreate. It seems to me that such “idle” moments are also the best times to communicate, to open up about things that need to be discussed, to think, to be creative, and of course, to pray. The Catholic perspective, with the week built around Sunday Mass and the day around the family meal, has much of the practical common sense parents need built right into the philosophy.
Furthermore, larger families and a mom at home, make over-parenting a practical impossibility. Not even super-mom can over-supervise a large family. Nor would she want to. A mom at home with a large brood will be pulling her hair out in no time. It won’t be long before she chases all the kids out of the house and tells them to go climb a tree.
Time has only printed this article because it is backed up by “research.” All the writer needed to do was ask his grandmother.
Hat tip to Other Mary.