Rethinking Parenting: Video

PSP held a forum on April 8, 2021, with Nancy McDermott, Michaeleen Doucleff, and Lenore Skenazy, who shared their insights on how today’s watchful culture of raising children has arguably created more stress for parents as we strive to meet ever more complex and contradictory standards for optimal parenting.

 

This is an event that will help us understand how we came to be such worried parents (spoiler: it’s not your fault!). An event where you'll discover the reasons to sit back more and control less (spoiler: there’s more time for you!). An event where you’ll see your kids in a different light  (spoiler: you don’t have to take it personally) and build more togetherness and autonomy.

 

View the full recording below—and if you’re a parent in Brooklyn who’s not yet a member of PSP, sign up and join the movement today! 

 

  

Want to join the movement to give kids more independence? Donate to Lenore’s organization LetGrow.

 

Feedback from attendees:

 

“You all took a giant parenting weight off my shoulders tonight. Thank you!”

 

“Thank you, this is a great topic! Makes me feel a lot better and less anxious as an expectant parent.”

 

“A lot of these parenting practices you’ve all observed reflect the (adult) anxieties of late modern capitalism. I so appreciate all of your observations about how much more relaxed we’d all be if we parented more like the days of yore or like people do in collectivistic societies. I really appreciate all of you!”

 

“Expectant parent here (1 month to go!) … but encouraging, helpful and inspiring conversation. Thank you!”

 

“This was wonderful and so helpful and encouraging - thank you!!”

 

Special thanks to our panelists!

 

 

 

 

Nancy McDermott: There have always been parents, but the idea of “Parenting” is a relatively new phenomenon. Modern families are more likely to pay attention to how they "parent" than previous generations. And yet, the pandemic has exposed the limitations of our intensely child-focused style of raising children. Mental health related visits for children and teens have increased approximately 24%. and 31%, respectively, and one in three parents have reported a deterioration of their own mental health. In her book, The Problem with Parenting: How Raising Children is Changing Across America  (Praeger 2020), Nancy makes the case for rethinking parenting, and that a more family-friendly way of raising our kids is not just possible, but necessary.  Nancy is a former chair of the Park Slope Parents advisory board and an associate of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. She lives with her family in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

 

 

Michaeleen Doucleff:  A correspondent for NPR’s Science Desk, Michaeleen was part of the 2015 team that earned a George Foster Peabody award for its coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Prior to joining NPR, Doucleff was an editor at the journal Cell, where she wrote about the science behind pop culture. She has a doctorate in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in viticulture and enology from the University of California, Davis. She lives with her husband, daughter, and German shepherd, Mango, in San Francisco. Her first book, Hunt, Gather, Parent, was an instant New York Times bestseller.

 

 

Lenore Skenazy: Ever since her column “Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone” created a firestorm, Lenore has been declaring that our kids are smarter and safer than our culture gives them credit for. For this, she was labeled “America’s Worst Mom.” Nice. She turned around and started the Free-Range Kids movement, lecturing around the world and hosting the reality show, “World’s Worst Mom.” Now Lenore is President of LetGrow, the nonprofit making it easy, normal, and legal to give kids back some independence. The second edition of her classic volume Free-Range Kids comes out this June! She recently spoke to Dax Shepard about parenting on his "Armchair Expert" podcast, here.