Give ‘helicopter parents’ a break
A good many of us aging baby boomers are having trouble relating to the “helicopter parents” of our modern age - those moms and pops constantly hovering over their kids, filling their schedules with enrichment activities of every sort, worrying nonstop about their futures.
Back in the middle of the 20th century, baby boomers didn’t grow up like that. We lived much more “free-range” childhoods.
We pedaled our bikes far from hearth and home. We organized our own pick-up games. We spent - wasted! - entire summers doing little bits of nothing.
We survived. So did our parents. So why do parents today have to hover so much?
The standard explanation: Times have changed. Yes, today’s parents take a more intense approach to parenting. But they have no choice. The pressures of modernity make them do it.
Economists Matthias Doepke of Northwestern University and Fabrizio Zilibotti of Yale have followed all the debate over helicopter parenting, and they’re not jumping on this blame-modernity bandwagon.
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