A nation of sissies, and other consequenses of overparenting

This is a very interesting article I read in the New Yorker which touches on the subject of over-parenting and how it is effecting the children of today, called The Child Trap. Here’s a short excerpt:

“…(It) used to be known as “spoiling.” Now it is called “overparenting”—or “helicopter parenting” or “hothouse parenting” or “death-grip parenting.” The term has changed because the pattern has changed. It still includes spoiling—no rules, many toys—but two other, complicating factors have been added. One is anxiety. Will the child be permanently affected by the fate of the hamster? Did he touch the corpse, and get a germ? The other new element—at odds, it seems, with such solicitude—is achievement pressure. The heck with the child’s feelings. He has a nursery-school interview tomorrow. Will he be accepted? If not, how will he ever get into a good college? Overparenting is the subject of a number of recent books, and they all deplore it in the strongest possible terms.”

<click here for the full article>

A similar article appeared in Babble.com around the idea of a “Kindergarchy”:

“kindergarchy — defined by Paul McFedries on The Word Spy as “Rule or domination by children; the belief that children’s needs and preferences take precedence over those of their parents or other adults.” This new word has spread quickly, concisely capturing the feeling that the lollipops of childhood have been replaced by royal scepters, with which parents and bystanders are soundly bludgeoned.”

<click here for the full article>

The Matrix

Sometimes I feel like that’s where things are headed, only it’s completely voluntary. We’re spending more and more time in these virtual worlds, kids are becoming involved in these virtual worlds at younger and younger ages, and the next thing you know everyone is going to be running around looking like Gollum from too much computer and not enough sunlight. Ok ok, that last line was a little extreme and I don’t want to come off sounding like a curmudgeon. I’m about as Pro-Web as it gets, but there’s always a danger of these things getting out of hand the second big corporations realize there’s money to be made….

Second Life and other virtual worlds for grown-ups have enjoyed intense media attention in the last year but fallen far short of breathless expectations. The children’s versions are proving much more popular, to the dismay of some parents and child advocacy groups. Now the likes of the Walt Disney Company, which owns Club Penguin, are working at warp speed to pump out sister sites.

“Get ready for total inundation,” said Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at the research firm eMarketer, who estimates that 20 million children will be members of a virtual world by 2011, up from 8.2 million today.

Worlds like Webkinz, where children care for stuffed animals that come to life, have become some of the Web’s fastest-growing businesses. More than six million unique visitors logged on to Webkinz in November, up 342 percent from November 2006, according to ComScore Media Metrix, a research firm.

Anyhow, this is a pretty good article ( New York Times Technology section) about the continuing and growing struggle to capture virtual kid market-share. Click here to read the entire article.