View Full Version : Call for Parenting Stories: Living in a Fast-Food World

09-22-2008, 07:05 PM
If you can help me out, great! If not, please pass on to someone you know who might be interested. Call can also be found here (http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dgtmqd8v_0dqvbrsc6).

I am looking to have conversations with parents or hear anecdotes of child-rearing in our increasingly child-oriented society, fast-food, instant gratification, instant-solution society.

There are more and more professional parents out there. Not parents who happen to be professionals, too, but professional parents. Women (primarily) whose life's ambition is to be the "best" mother and have the "best" kids who have the "right" friends, participate in the "best" activities and have perfectly planned lives. How do you fit into all of that?

I've had a variety of conversations with professionals around the concepts of this type of child-centered parenting, though I would actively welcome more professional conversation. Dr. Alvin Rosenfeld calls it "hyper-parenting," Dr. Aaron Cooper calls it "The Happiness Creed," and Dr. Jean Ilsley Clarke calls it "overindulgence." Whatever you call this phenomenon, I'm writing a book regarding it, how it's affected children's resiliency and parent's ability to trust their parental instincts.

I want to know how our "fast-food world" is affecting parents:

* Is your happiness scarified? Or are you finding happiness as a professional parent?
* What happens to the parent who eschews the idea that her job is to put her child first at all cost?

I want to know what people think of the prevailing attitude that no child is average, that all children can excel at anything they set their mind to and that it's a parent's responsibility to provide the opportunity to explore as many activities as possible? Have parents found this to be encouraging to their children or have some children been overwhelmed by this vast array of choices?

Please know that all replies will be held in confidence, will not be shared and will not be used without your permission.

Please contact Amanda (myparentingstory@gmail.com) at: myparentingstory@gmail.com

judi girl
09-26-2008, 06:22 AM
Hi ordinary girl, welcome. My sister and I are 13 years apart. I am 49, both my children are grown, and I was a stay at home mom always.

My sister is what 36? She is a stay at home mom (working on her masters) (Her husband is a peace officer, you know, the typical good looking family) She has two little boys, lives in So.Cal., and lives the life you describe....they are so busy with the kids, I wonder if some home life wouldn't be a better choice sometimes.

Anyways, we are both moms from the same mother, if you know what I mean, and are in two different generations. I could ask her to comment if you like. We sometimes discuss our different parenting and how generational differences influenced us, vs our own up bringing vs peer pressure.

Good luck with your book, sounds really great! Judigirl

09-26-2008, 06:46 AM
Not exactly a parenting story, but speaking as an introvert I have to say these hyper-social, hyper-scheduled lives must be hell on introverted kids. From what I can tell today's kids don't have much down time, and introverts really need down time / alone time to recharge.

Entropy Perk
09-26-2008, 07:28 AM
Look at Dr Sears and Attachment Parenting. Many "experts" call that child-centered, due to the gentle approach and attitude the parents have, towards their childrens behavior. Also, Dr. James MacKenna (Notre Dame) has written a lot about parenting in a style that many would call "child centered", mainly when dealing with infants and babies, not so much toddlers and above though.

You may also want to look up, "Positive Parenting", which follows many of the same principles.

I'm a SAHM now, and I practice what could be called a mix of those two things. Quality, not Quantity. Presence, not Presents. Respect, not Dictating. My children are people, not mini me. My job is to provide them with a safe, constant, trustworthy place, so they can learn who they are, be happy and proud of it, and use it, to make their own path in life.

Its amazing how zen your house can be, if you let go of the random little things you are "supposed" to do and just see what your family rhythm will lay out.

09-26-2008, 05:11 PM
These are all interesting angles and great advice, thanks!

@ Ravenlocks--I wonder, too, about the effect on the introverts of the world. I'm much happier in a low-key, quiet environment and I have a middle school-age child who is also. I think people don't realize that it's okay not to want to be busy and surrounded all the time.

@ Entropy Perk--I've read a lot of Dr. Sears' work (my background and degree are in early childhood education) and would agree that it's another type of child-centered parenting. The way you describe parenting reminds me of Mindful Parenting. I wrote an article about it and had the chance to speak with an incredibly interesting man, Scott Rogers, whose written a book called Mindful Parenting: Meditations, Verses, and Visualizations for a More Joyful Life.

In any event, thanks and please keep the thoughts coming!