There is a spate of new books on â€œoverparentingâ€ or â€œhelicopter parentingâ€â€”spoiling oneâ€™s child (buying him too many toys) while subjecting him to â€œachievement pressureâ€ (sending him to kindergartens with advanced math, forcing him into extracurricular activities that would look good on his college application, zealously monitoring his test scores). Most of the authors agree that overparenting is bad and may result in the children being so dependent on their elders that they may never move out of the house. All I can say is: Ha!
Arguably I am not qualified to give an opinion on parenting, having neither children to raise nor any intention of spawning. That is true, but I happen to be an authority on childhood: Mine. Owing to my staunch refusal to grow up (which is my own choice and not a consequence of overparenting), I have managed to extend my childhood for decades. In fact I have made a career of warding off adulthood; I would recommend it as a lifestyle, except that few of us are allowed by society to remain in a state of happy immaturity, and all the slots are taken. In any case, donâ€™t be like me: if there are too many of us, civilization would grind to a halt.
As I read the review of the literature on overparenting, I recalled my early experience as a latchkey child. A latchkey child, for the benefit of you spoiled and overprotected types, is a child who goes home to an empty house after school because her parents are still at work. When I was growing up we were frequently without a maid, so I simply let myself into the house and looked after myself until my parents arrived three or four hours later.Â
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