This fascinating article by Lisa Belkin briefly outlines the history of parenting trends over the past century or so, from diehard discipline to being buddies and everything in-between. Her conclusion is simple and profound: regardless of current, past or future trends, parents' quest to not screw up continues ad infinitum.
But my favorite part of the piece is the headline: Let the Kid Be. As a self-confessed Type A Control Freak Perfectionist, this is my biggest challenge as a mom, no contest. I incessantly urge my children to just "be you," which is all fine and dandy as long as being themselves translates into being happy and successful. The hard part, of course, is letting them be them when it means them being wrong, frustrated, disappointed, or simply a failure at something － for the moment, anyway.
I'm working on it. And I think summertime lightens the load for me a little, with its distinct lack of grades, homework, standardized testing, tardy slips and school bells. Summertime is the season of being. God bless it.
When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
speaking words of wisdom,
"Let [them] be."
Ah, I believe I've discovered my summertime anthem . . .