Parenting Today

Here’s an interesting read from the ever erudite Alain De Botton, writing for the BBC on Modern Parenting.

BBC Magazine Article

I can’t help harbouring a suspicion that there’s more than a dose of irony in the piece and that De Botton really doesn’t intend us to take it too seriously. He sets out to make a case for ‘mollycoddling’ and cosseting of young children by modern parents. Whilst De Botton makes out a strong case for why ‘parenting by abdication’ represents taking too many risks in the upbringing of a child, he fails in my view to make any case for a blanketing, obsessive form of over-indulgent, over-involved parenting.

I did rather enjoy the image he conjured up of the anxious parents delivering their wards to school in the morning, desperately apprehensive that their offspring must capture every nugget of what matters, otherwise they might be doomed to a life of failure and misery. Maybe, as De Botton hints, as parents we might do better to focus on ‘controlling’ the lives we do have some chance of controlling – our own, rather than making ourselves believe that we can control our children’s lives. At least we would be providing them with worthwhile role models. Even then, it’s not up to us whether they choose to take the lessons from our example.

Tricky business, this parenting!


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