The division of labor in parenting is changing. There are more stay-at-home dads than ever, either alternating years on/off the job with their spouses or choosing portable careers. Still, the pan-gender consensus that parenting matters more than schooling doesn't make the task easier.
Last week, David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, sold his company to Yahoo. As much as I was in awe of this 26-year-old man's accomplishment, I could not help but wonder about his mother. Who was the woman that raised her son and encouraged him to drop out of high school and enter the workforce?
We became obsessed with Tiger Mom's badass dedication to her daughters' excellence, the way she focused on getting the all-important "W" for her kids. Turns out, we like that quality in our downward-spiraling TV stars, too.
At the end of our journey, when we look back, the currency of achievement will no longer buy us solace. The greater accomplishment will be to over the years have built a foundation of family, friendship, altruism, kindness, compassion and love.
The notion of encouraging kids to push past easy doesn't bother me. Nor do I think we harm them by requiring them to do things they don't feel like doing. But I do maintain that parents should motivate their kids to stretch a little.
Neither too involved nor too uninterested parents have any interest at all in the inner life of their children -- their hopes, desires, dreams. And without nourishing those aspects, we starve them of everything from imagination to hope.
In our "please give me the secret to perfect parenting" culture, if one mother is viewed as having a magic wand that will turning her child into a prodigy with Harvard potential, there is sure to be a substantial audience.
The uproar greeting Amy Chua's allegedly tongue in cheek tales of demeaning and belittling behavior toward her daughters has drowned out an important theme: the parenting principles that Chua gets right.
Sadness is predicted to peak on the third Monday of each new year. This is usually a result of post-holiday blues/failed new year's resolutions/bad weather and the like. Some even refer to it as Blue Monday.