Dr. Robin Berman, a UCLA psychiatrist, is making the media rounds in support of her book, Permission to Parent: How to Raise your Child with Love and Limits http://www.amazon.com/Permission-Parent-Raise-Child-Limits/dp/0062277308. As I read some of her articles, with extracted wisdom in well-framed sound bites, I found my head nodding, my soul applauding, with ‘ah-hah’ moments and ‘ta-da’s.
- apparently this generation’s take on parenting – overbearing, enabling, overindulgent – is a pendulum swing in the opposite direction from the way they were parented – ignored, abandoned, unseen. When I entered life’s time machine, cycling back through the last several decades, I wondered if women’s mass entry into the work force was one of the inciting parallels… Whaddayathink?
- direct witness of parents’ bullies – many of the two-year tyrants that I witnessed and attempted to work with during my final years of practice will be the school yard bullies now. What for and why? Whaddayathink?
- absolute narcissism – and not the healthiness of self-esteem, the fountain from which true parental love and guidance flows – seems to suck the air around too many people, so that one can not survive in the vacuum, the anti-gravity of their unlove. No wonder so many have heat shields to deflect and protect, with genuinely human interaction the loss. Phonitis as a symptom as well as way to cope?
While we call the new age brand of parents: helicopter parenting, we learned that in Scandinavia it is titled: curling, because the parents are constantly sweeping the surface, the motion of players in that sport.
It can not be a good thing when the phenomenon is world-wide. We expected to see it in China where the One Child policy has been enforced for ages: since grandparents live with adult parents and the one child, we witnessed the devoted circling first hand when we visited China last fall.
The legacy of narcissism supported by the infinity machines we call cell phones, everyone in their personal orbits, never alone, yet just so.
The New Circle of Life.
Say it ain’t so, Simba.
I don’t want you to end up like Scar.