5 Modern Parenting Tips From Freud


Ease Up, Helicopter Parents

Take a cue from Freud and let kids cut loose a little bit.
Take a cue from Freud and let kids cut loose a little bit.
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The early 2000s witnessed the launch of the helicopter parent. These overeager moms and dads are easily identified by their constant hovering over kids' activities and interventions at any given moment to dispute unsatisfactory academic grades and generally over-schedule children's lives for success -- hopefully. For a Freudian critique of such heavily managed parenting, look no farther than Dr. Spock's ethos of permissiveness. In "Baby and Child Care," Spock encourages parents to allow children ample time and space to play, explore and even break rules on their own, thereby liberating them to freely transition through their Freudian developmental phases [source: Sullivan].

That doesn't, by the same token, imply that parents shouldn't set any boundaries; as with breastfeeding, proper childcare management is construed as a balancing act between too little and too much. But rather than following strict guidelines and must-dos to help guarantee that sons and daughters will grow up into Ivy League-educated adults with handsome incomes, Spock emphasized parental instinct as the golden guide [source: Koops and Zuckerman].