Friday, February 12, 2010

Slow Parenting

If slow cooking results in something that is better tasting and more nutritious than fast food, chances are slow parenting is better than the hot-housing formula. As the author describes it "Much of Slow Parenting is simply re-learning how things used to be before we starting treating parenting as product development, or as something to be learned via books, videos, magazines or classes."

A parent who eschews the hot-housing method may be called a "free-range parent". Assuming the parent is hands-off and allows the child to be a child sometimes and engage in mindless activity, wouldn't it be the child that was being raised "free range" ? The analogy to poultry or cattle is a little disconcerting but other than that I am on board with the idea.

J has activities she participates in after-school and outside school. I figure that keeps her and I plenty busy and whatever downtime we get over the weekends should be strictly that - downtime. Many parents I know have kids who keep a busier schedule than J does but make sure to get in a healthy dose of fun. For an activity to be tagged "fun", there must be a good amount of time and money spent  and significant distance traveled. Fun and home simply do not coincide.

A low cost, low effort outing is only a step above the sublimely boring business of staying home and not a candidate for the "fun" tag. By the popular operating definition, the art and craft projects J and I work on togther, the board games we play, the music we introduce each other to , the stuff we talk about, the movies we watch or the books she and I read together, do not really qualify as fun. I must be an idle-parent.


Anonymous said...

As the Director for the Center for Slow Parenting Studies LLC, I am excited to report that our latest surveys reveal that many parents are catching on to the notion that there is inherent value in a childs opportunity to experience more....wait a minute... what do you call it is an old antiquated term....oh yeah HAPPINESS (I'm sure you've heard of it!)

Laurie Colacini Stanton said...

If you are a slow parent, or would like to be, visit for free tips!!

Anonymous said...

Slow parenting can be extended to create a sustainable, respectful and fun relationship with your children, especially teens. More that just unscheduling your kids, which is a good idea if they respond well to it and know success, slow parenting asks parents to get to know their kids well, to respect them, to listen to them, to support their growth ( with consequences as well as praise) and to do it everyday. INterested? Check out or blog.
Molly Wingate and Marti Woodward