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Blog // Thoughts
November 20, 2008

Pondering Parenting

One of the things I remember from 2001 is reading a lot of parenting books. Having your first child and facing the reality (and for me, the mystery) of having a baby in the house is more than enough incentive to switch reading habits. I’m guessing that I’ll look back on 2008 in the same […]

One of the things I remember from 2001 is reading a lot of parenting books. Having your first child and facing the reality (and for me, the mystery) of having a baby in the house is more than enough incentive to switch reading habits.

I’m guessing that I’ll look back on 2008 in the same way. Parenting is less of a mystery in a lot of ways, but when kids get to this sort of age (C is now 7.5), the differences in parenting styles and home cultures really start to show up. Sometimes it is simply not pretty. Moreover, the demands of school really start to ramp up and in a context like ours it gets harder and harder to protect a kid’s playtime, freedom to dream and, at the risk of sounding like a cultural throwback, a kid’s innocence.

Three articles have really got me thinking, though not yet reaching many conclusions. The Child Trap is a review article in The New Yorker, looking at the issue over-parenting, which is surely one of the cultural sins of my generation. A Boy’s Life is a challenging piece in the current Atlantic, dealing with kids who have gender identity issues, but also raising questions about the decisions parents make in helping kids develop their identities. Finally, On the Question, “How Much Sleep Does My Child Actually Need?” is a great piece I’ve been re-reading, which is a follow-up to the excellent New York Magazine article, Snooze or Lose.

Parenting is a topic where I have far more questions (and doubts and uncertainties) than I have answers. But, it’s a topic I want to explore in more detail and open up for conversation. So, this is the first post in a new category for the Desk – parenting.

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