We’re overdoing it.  Mozart in utero.  Shuffling three-year olds from soccer to swimming to piano.  Dunking them in antibacterial soap.  Hovering at the playground, ready to swoop in and save her from that big bully, Hannah.  Junior gets a C+ in math and we call the school to demand ‘ANSWERS!’  We’ve come to view Parenthood as Project Management – and our kids are Version 1.0.

Hyper-parenting is the new normal.  “Keeping up with the Jones” isn’t just about cars or homes anymore.  We’re engaged in an arms-race to build nuclear children.  If you’re not training a three-sport athlete by age four, it’s hard not to wonder, “Will my kid be the last picked?”  Suddenly, children playing outdoors by themselves (*gasp* in the street!) are a product of parental neglect.

It all seems unhealthy.

Unhealthy for kids: we’re stripping them of the opportunity to make choices and fail. Which stinks, since failing and trying again is the only way humans truly learn and grow.

Unhealthy for families: lost in the shuffle is time to laugh, play and grow together.

Unhealthy for society: we’re creating burned-out, failure-fearing, helpless young adults who finally learn action/consequence at age 18…or later.

Let’s slow down.  Drop the fallacy of perfection.  Let our kids fail.  Send them outside to play.  Ditch a few activities.  Play a game.  Laugh.  Seek balance.

Simplify.  (Sorry, gotta run — we’re late for swimming lessons!)

Note: this riff was inspired by Seth Godin’s shiny new eBook “What matters now“.  If you haven’t already, go read it.

Please share and like us:

Leave a Reply

Submit Comment