This Time Magazine cover article caught my attention while I was browsing at Barnes and Noble bookseller tonight.
Nancy Gibbs details a shift in parenting style–from helicopter to free range parents. Some are rebelling against our current penchant for over-managing and over-protecting every arena in a kids life.
One dad remarked on his epiphany after his son confronted dad’s determination to find his son an art tutor to help him draw even better: “He looks at me like I’m from outer space,” Honore says. “I just wanna draw’ he tells me. ‘Why do grownups have to take over everything?'” A significant part of growing up is learning, through discovery and mistakes, how to own the responsibility for our own choices.
Our generation of parents tend to miss the needs of kids in two extremes. One is to leave them alone way too much while we tend to our own agenda. The other is to micro-manage and over-control. Both result in a sort of abandonment of not only our core role as parents but of the child desperately needing our guidance and leadership toward their own autonomy.
Launching kids into adulthood happens naturally when we stay accessible through two way communication, flexible negotiation, and warm relationships.