“The insanity crept up on us slowly; we just wanted what was best for our kids.” That’s how TIME magazine’s cover story, “Can These Parents Be Saved?” (November 30) begins to describe the extreme and sometimes zany ways we raise our children. Hypoallergenic socks and macrobiotic cupcakes are only the beginning. And while it’s easy to laugh about “helicopter” parents who hover over their children, we’ve also started to see “Zamboni” moms and dads as well. These are parents who actually clear the path in an effort to help their children avoid the bumps and bruises of life.
Some schools have recently started to come across “Stealth Fighter” parents, folks who “can be counted on for a surgical strike just when the high school musical is being cast or the starting lineup chosen.” (More than one experienced teacher no longer coaches because he feels vulnerable and defensive in front of overly aggressive parents who assume athletic omniscience.)
Ok. It’s easy to see where others have gone wrong. But fess up. We’ve all gone just a bit nutty at times, haven’t we? (That middle aged man you saw sneaking into the Prep to deliver yet another forgotten lunch or book or tie may look a lot like yours truly, but it’s actually my evil twin brother, Skippy.)
There is good news on the horizon. According to TIME, a new revolution is in the works, one “aimed at rolling back the almost comical overprotectiveness and overinvestment of moms and dads.” It may take a while, though, for this particular revolution to succeed. A CEO friend recently told me that a job applicant showed up – with his mother in tow. “He was sort of a dud, but I thought his mom was very strong!”