British journalist-turned-parenting guru Carl Honoré thinks it's high time that families slowed down. His 2008 book "Under Pressure: Rescuing Our Children from the Culture of Hyper-Parenting" was received as an antidote to overparenting, which had turned a generation of middle and upper class adults into hovering helicopters, loading their toddlers with extracurricular activities and fretting over every dietary indulgence and playground scrape [source: Gibbs].
Although Honoré didn't come up with the term "slow parenting" himself, he agrees that the phrase encapsulates something that he noticed missing from many kids' young lives: free time. Rather than penciling in piles of play dates and ballet practices, slow parenting advises keeping family calendars sparse to allow for relaxation and quality time together [source: Belkin]. At its core, slow parenting serves as a call for adults to untie themselves from the consumer culture pressure of buying and architecting a seemingly perfect upbringing for their kids, and use those liberated minutes and hours to get to know who those boys and girls are as unique and precious people.