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Friday, September 21, 2012

ranting helicopter parent

i think of urban kids as being more affected by helicopter parenting because of the physical environment--we are with the kids more as we drive them everywhere, can't let them loose outside in the crazy neighborhood with lots of traffic.  i have also read some convincing arguments that parents have become more and more involved with their children's lives as a result of marriage becoming less important, or being perceived as a partnership for parenting. these things make sense.

but i also wonder if parents like me are so involved with their kids' lives because of the depressing news we hear about almost daily.  my kids go to school in a urban district state that is 49th out of 50 for education funding. hearing day after day about education cuts, including early education and college, makes me feel like i have to be involved in my kids' education.    parents think so much about private preschools because they have to pay so much money for them, and want to make sure their kid is getting as much into their little brains as possible before they have to enter the underfunded education system.  and ultimately parents are thinking about the future we keep hearing about with economic and climate disaster, etc etc.

we want our offspring to make it through and thrive and have good lives, and we don't feel like society as it is will provide it, so we pour all our resources into our own kids.  i think about the money we are spending on dance class, soccer, and now maya's drama class.  i know a lot of folks who pay for tutors for their elementary kids who are doing quite well in school. all this money adds up.  it could be going into funding a school system that would be better for all the kids in our society.  but the way our society is set up kids are a low priority.  so we helicopter to try and make sure they will be ok anyway.  and while helicoptering all our energy goes into our own kids.

where will this pattern lead?  to more and more inequality, right?

how can we get to a place where kids are the most important people instead of the least?  a plane to finland?



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