Why did parenting change from preparing our kids for life to protecting them from life, which means they're not prepared to live life on their own? And why do these problems I'm writing about seem rooted in the middle and upper middle classes?
Modern motherhood takes a toll on women's well-being, strains parents' relationships, weakens families, and certainly doesn't do children any good. My heart goes out to mothers, but I don't "revere" motherhood.
I've written these steps to provide encouragement to well-intentioned, devoted, loving, intelligent parents who feel powerless to stop themselves from overindulging, overprotecting and over-scheduling their children.
I've come to believe that parenting our kids is a lot like teaching them to ride a bike. It's a process. We begin by strapping them to us as infants and we do all the peddling. Eventually, we remove the training wheels -- and now our help is a tender balance of support and letting go.
I have a confession to make. I have gone to one of my sons' dorms and done his laundry. Just when I thought I had taken my overparenting to a new level, his roommate's mother took out a lint roller and began to roll their entire carpet on her hands and knees. Was I out-parented?