"If our own parents tilted too much toward neglect, they gave us space, and the bruises and social gaffes of our off-line childhoods made us who we are," the author writes. "And we aren’t the worst generation of parents ever, just the most anxious. It takes courage to still the currents of fear and just let our children be. But to be better parents, we may have to do less."
It's a totally valid point. But does adding this additional layer of stress help? As noted, we're already an anxious generation of parents that worries constantly about whether our kids eat organic produce, play with intellectually stimulating BPA-free toys, participate in enough activities to make them well-rounded individuals...do we now also have to worry about doing too much rather than too little?
We are the generation that drove home the phrase "mom guilt". Add this to the pile, and it becomes just one more thing we need to feel guilty about.
So I want to tell you something: you're doing okay.
- Whether you're the parent who packs his child's lunch with healthy homemade snacks or prepackaged crackers and cheese—you're doing okay.
- Whether you have your kid participating in five extracurricular activities, one or none—you're doing okay.
- Whether your child is truly exceptional or just average—you're doing okay.
I agree, we could probably ease up a bit on the violin lessons and create more accountability for our kids. And no way am I doing their homework for them! But let's not let fear of overinvolvement become yet another thing to obsess over—or, worse, cause us to swing the pendulum too far in the opposite direction.
Because you know what? We're not perfect; we don't have it all figured out. But we're doing okay.