Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Andrew Sullivan Wants You to Neglect Your Kids

On his blog, Andrew Sullivan has a conversation going about childrearing. Katie Roiphe from Slate pines for the "benign neglect of the 1970s and '80s," and Mark Oppenheimer worries that helicopter parenting destroys individuality.

I grew up in a rural area--big back yard; acres of open field to run through; cows--and it was relatively low-risk for my Mom to open the door and kick me outside. I loved it. I could run around, make believe, just sit and watch the clouds go by. I'm glad that today I live in an area where my wife and I can give our children at least a modicum of that freedom.

I also grew up in that era of benign neglect Roiphe is nostalgic for, and almost died three times before I was twelve: once by drowning, once when I was run over by a truck (long story), and once by a fall from a bridge (also, long story).

If parents today coddle, it may be because we remember those death-defying moments a little more vividly than the fun stuff.

This post doesn't have much to do with music, so listen to this. Happy birthday, Caitlin, you irrepressible, irresistible force of nature: