Thursday, March 19, 2015

Age of Irrational Parenting

Back in the 1980s, the psychologist Jerome Kagan presciently noticed that something was happening to American parents: Absent having any other conspicuous way to prove moral worth — by taking care of their own parents, say, or heading up local civic organizations — we instead try to show our virtue through parenting. It’s become our new plumage, how we parent, peacockishly displayed on Facebook and in playgrounds and at birthday parties; the result is a culture of surveillance and judgment rather than compassion and collaboration, and frankly, it’s exhausting — nor is it doing anyone one lick of good.
And before thrusting all this sanctimony towards other parents and children, Americans find their moral worth via calling other Americans racists, sexist, homophobic, and any other -isms and -ists they can come up with.

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