"Slow Parenting": The Noble Savage in the High Chair

Reacting to "helicopter" parents, some moms and dads are trying to back off and let their kids develop on their own

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Are modern parents adopting the idea of the child as a noble savage? Slow parenting, free-range parenting, I-don't-give-a-darn parenting -- this new approach is gaining popularity in reaction to the hovering of so-called "helicopter" parents. The basic premise is to leave your kids alone and let them develop at their own pace. Are parents taking pride now in being labeled a bad parent? Lisa Belkin is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and she writes about this new trend in parenting in this weekend's issue.

Want to hear more? Listen to our interviews with Ayelet Waldman and Heather B. Armstrong.


Lisa Belkin

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Farai Chideya


David J Fazekas

Comments [2]


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May. 28 2009 11:15 AM

It's funny but this was my parent's methodology in raising me and my brother. My girlfriend's parents did the opposite with her and her sister and kept a very tight leash on them. Although we all turned out fine (2 masters and 2 JD's between us) there are some very distinct differences between us.

Me and my brother are very independent and self reliant while my girlfriend and her sister tend to be much less independent and much less self reliant.

We often argue about how my mom was a bad mom because she gave us too much freedom and I argue that her mom was too strict and constricting inhibiting the girl's abilities to explore the world around them.

Case in point, the girls just recently learned how to ride bikes whilst me and my brother learned how to ride bikes by the time we were 7 or 8 years old.

My mom always said that if she didn't give her kids freedom to develop, they might never develop to their full potential. I agree.

May. 28 2009 09:12 AM

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