Are you guilty of hyper-parenting?

April 28, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Carl Honore, the author of "Under Pressure," explains why you may be doing your child more harm than good by hyper-parenting.

If you do any of the following, you may be a hyper-parent:

1. You shout yourself hoarse and get into arguments with the referee, coach and other parents at your child's sports games.

2. You plant a GPS tracking device on your child.

3. Your children are your main, or only, topic of conversation in adult company.

4. You can quote verbatim from parenting manuals.

5. You fake a profile on MySpace or Bebo to keep tabs on your teen.

6. Your child has dark circles under his eyes and falls asleep on the backseat of the car en route to his extracurricular activities.

7. You pull your child out of one activity early in order to get to the next one on time.

8. You regularly eat meals in the car.

9. You constantly compare your children with their peers.

10. You never feel like you're doing enough for your children.

How to be less hyper:

1. Go one week without consulting a parenting manual or magazine or websites - to take a breather from the avalanche of advice that erodes rather than builds our confidence.

2. Look at the people you most like and admire and consider how they grew up. Were they all Alpha children? Probably not. Remember that whenever you feel your child is falling behind or failing to make the most of himself.

3. Seek out other parents who are leaping off the hyper-parenting bandwagon - there is strength in numbers.

4. Experiment with letting your child engage in extracurricular activities (soccer, ballet, whatever) without your staying to watch.

5. Set aside at least one hour of adult-free time each day when your child just plays alone or with friends (but with the TV and video games switched off).

6. Make and eat dinner with your children.

7. Stop doing your children's homework

8. Set aside time every day when the whole family is unplugged from all technology.

9. Cut back the extracurricular activities.

10. Always ask yourself: am I doing this for my child, or for me? If the answer is for me, then don't do it.

11. Consider letting your child take the same risks you did at the same age.

Carl Honore book signing

Monday, April 28, 2008
7:30 - 8:30 pm

Kepler's
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA

Buy the book on Amazon: Under Pressure

About Carl Honore:

After studying history and Italian at Edinburgh University, Carl Honore worked with street children in Brazil. This inspired him to take up journalism. Since 1991, he has written from all over Europe, and South America, spending three years in Buenos Aires along the way. His work has appeared in publications on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Economist, Observer, American Way, National Post, Globe and Mail, Houston Chronicle and Miami Herald. His first book In Praise of Slowness was an International Bestseller. Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta


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