Extreme Parenting: How Far Will You Go?

A new book, by British authors and mothers Annie Ashworth and Meg Sanders, discusses “extreme” parents. Parents who are “going to increasingly desperate lengths to give their children a head start over their peers.” The light-hearted book challenges the madness in families. Asking parents to take a good look at themselves and how far they are willing to go to help their children achieve.

Mrs. Sanders comments, “We’ve been observing the phenomenon of extreme parenting since we became mothers ourselves. It seems we are so anxious to get it right, to have the most high-achieving children and to be seen to be doing it all effortlessly, that we have lost our perspective. We’ve resorted to subterfuge and corruption, and have come to view other parents as competitors rather than allies.”

In their book they give actual examples of “extreme” parenting that they have uncovered while researching the topic. These examples include such items as:

  • playing foreign radio stations while their child is sleeping to help them learn another language
  • practicing for an egg and spoon race
  • doing homework for their kids, “even deliberately making mistakes to retain authenticity”
  • following in the car from Great Britain as a school coach takes a group of children on a school trip to France
  • driving 100 miles in one day taking children from activity to activity
  • promising their child a pony if they pass a high achievement test
  • pretending to have breastfed
  • peeking a friend’s backpack to see what level of reading book they have
  • making store bought cupcakes look homemade by distressing the frosting

The authors of the book point out that “extreme” parents go to such great lengths to protect their child and give them a head-start over their peers that they don’t allow them to make decisions and mistakes for themselves.

In regards to this Mrs. Sanders said, “What bothers me is that we are over-protecting our children when they are young and not allowing them to hang out with their peer group, fend for themselves, and get a bit streetwise. Then in their teens, they expect a lot of freedom, which is so much of a contrast to their previous life that it’s almost impossible for them to have formed the judgment they need.”

“Extreme” parents feel that they are doing the best thing for their child, but is it really? How far are you willing to go?

Related Blogs:

Parenting With Love and Logic

Parenting Style Affects Health

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About Teresa McEntire

Teresa McEntire grew up in Utah the oldest of four children. She currently lives in Kuna, Idaho, near Boise. She and her husband Gene have been married for almost ten years. She has three children Tyler, age six, Alysta, four, and Kelsey, two. She is a stay-at-home mom who loves to scrapbook, read, and of course write. Spending time with her family, including extended family, is a priority. She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and currently works with the young women. Teresa has a degree in Elementary Education from Utah State University and taught 6th grade before her son was born. She also ran an own in-home daycare for three years. She currently writes educational materials as well as blogs for Families.com. Although her formal education consisted of a variety of child development classes she has found that nothing teaches you better than the real thing. She is constantly learning as her children grow and enjoys sharing that knowledge with her readers.

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