How Much Is Too Much Parenting?


American parenting is under the microscope these days.

Helicopter parents — overprotective, always hovering, smothering their kids with control — are the new bad guys. Whatever happened, say critics, to just saying “do your homework” or “go play”?

The counter-movement goes by many names: “slow parenting”, “free-range parenting.” Give the kids some space. Let them learn and fall and stand again on their own. They’ll be stronger in the end.

It can be a tough balance. And it may be moving right now.

This hour, On Point: Finding the sweet spot — and the backlash against over-parenting.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Joining us from New York is Nancy Gibbs, editor-at-large at Time magazine and author of the current cover story, “The Case Against Over-Parenting: Why Mom and Dad Need to Cut the Strings.”

Carrie Contey, prenatal and perinatal psychologist and early parenting coach. She teaches classes on “slow family living.”

Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, a social historian, has written about parenthood, family, and children. She is co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers and author of “The Divorce Culture: Rethinking Our Commitment to Marriage and Family.”

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