First, there were hockey moms, and then soccer moms. Some time in 2005, the term “helicopter parents” was coined to describe those parents that hover over their children. And now, a new favourite of mine, “curling parents” — those who sweep the ice in front of their children.
I only have a couple of seconds to post today, but I wanted to say something about this interesting Ottawa Citizen article about an interview with parenting writer Carl HonorÃ©, author of In Praise of Slow, where I saw the “curling parents” phrase.
As I read the transcript Susan Allan’s interview, I found myself nodding along with HonorÃ©’s ideas. He calls milestones “millstones” and advocates a return to a more laid back approach to raising children. He speaks out against the way we take it upon ourselves to make our children excel at any cost:
It’s amazing how many of the tools of hyperparenting people still believe in though it’s patently untrue and has been shown to be so. The pressure to do things in a mechanistic, measurable way takes away the joy of it. At the end of the day, this should be about joy. There’s nothing more joyous than having a child.
And this… I loved this one:
We need to give kids the space and time for their brains to develop rather than turning them into achievement automatons on a treadmill ticking one box after an another whether it’s academic or athletic or artistic. Children are not projects, they’re people.
He’s speaking tonight as part of the Ottawa International Writers Festival, and it’s free. It’s been ages since I’ve been out to a literary event, and I’m going to try to make it out to see him speak. I figure the audience will be skewed to the parenting crowd, so I can drag Lucas along with me.
What do you think? Is there hope for lazy parents like me? Is it possible for us to turn off the treadmill and make laid-back parenting the new trend?