Tuesday Link Love

Since I’ll be at Wild Goose at the end of the week, I’m doing my links early. I might do a short blog entry or two via WordPress for iPhone while I’m there, depending on coverage.

But in lieu of Friday’s post, here’s some interesting stuff that’s crossed my screen recently:

Death Star PR: An Open Letter to Beloved Academy Award Winning Actress Natalie Portman


Upon the birth of her son:

Give him freedom (Yes, it’s a balancing act, but if anyone can manage it, it’s the Academy Award winning actress who gave a tour de force performance in Black Swan). If he wants to go to Tosche Station to pick up some power converters, let him. Where’s the harm in that? It might even prevent him from keeping out of trouble/meeting a stalkery old hobo who will guide him down a path that will lead to the tragic deaths of his caretakers (i.e. you) by rogue Sand People, and the eventual explosion of some 1.3 million government employees.

Um, this letter is great, but everybody knows it was not rogue Sand People that killed Owen and Beru, but rather Imperial Storm Troopers. You can’t paper over the truth, Death Star PR! WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!!!!!



How to Land Your Kid in Therapy

[The young adults coming to me for counseling] truly did seem to have caring and loving parents, parents who gave them the freedom to “find themselves” and the encouragement to do anything they wanted in life. Parents who had driven carpools, and helped with homework each night, and intervened when there was a bully at school or a birthday invitation not received, and had gotten them tutors when they struggled in math, and music lessons when they expressed an interest in guitar (but let them quit when they lost that interest), and talked through their feelings when they broke the rules, instead of punishing them (“logical consequences” always stood in for punishment). In short, these were parents who had always been “attuned,” as we therapists like to say, and had made sure to guide my patients through any and all trials and tribulations of childhood. As an overwhelmed parent myself, I’d sit in session and secretly wonder how these fabulous parents had done it all.

Until, one day, another question occurred to me: Was it possible these parents had done too much?

This is a good, long article. She manages never to mention the phrase “helicopter parent,” which is good, because nobody ever cops to being one of those. But I know lots of folks who parent the way she describes… including, to some extent, me (though she’s going to have to work hard to dissuade me from logical consequences).

Incidentally, having a job outside the home makes it very hard to overparent the way she describes. You’re just not around as much to smooth things over.


In My Next Life I Will Be…: Studio 360

One of my favorite public radio shows recently had a live show in which they asked the audience to complete that sentence on notecards. You can see a slideshow at the above link. What’s interesting is how many very young adults have already decided what they’ll be in their next life, i.e., what they’ll not be in this one. I mean… really? Really?

What will you be in your next life? And can you really not do that now? At least a smidge?

3 thoughts on “Tuesday Link Love

  1. Grace

    I read the “How to land your kids in therapy” article with an increasing sense that something was missing from the conversation, and that that something was the question of ultimate meaning. I wanted a faith – or at least a moral/ethical – voice in the conversation. I think the author’s points are totally valid, but the article begged the questions of “what is happiness?” and “does happiness consist in being as personally fulfilled as possible, materially/professionally/socially/whatever, or in something larger?” All the issues the article raised – what is the role of suffering in human life? Why are we here? What do we want? What SHOULD we want? Why do we still feel unfulfilled when life is easy and fun and we have everything we supposedly want? – are faith questions. I kept wanting to tell those families, “If you want help raising kids who aren’t self-centered and unfulfilled, go to CHURCH (or mosque, or synagogue, or meeting, or whatever)!” (And of course Wendy Mogel, who’s referenced several times in the article, does have that explicit faith perspective.)

    I think this may end up being worked into my sermon this Sunday (we’re baptizing two babies and about to welcome a new senior pastor, so the time is ripe for a conversation at the intersection of “child rearing” and “what are faith communities for?”)

  2. Rachel Heslin

    My favorite quote from the “How to Land Your Kid in Therapy” article is:

    “Happiness as a byproduct of living your life is a great thing,” Barry Schwartz, a professor of social theory at Swarthmore College, told me. “But happiness as a goal is a recipe for disaster.”

    I’m a big fan of preparing the child for the road, not the road for the child. This article pretty much confirms my leanings. But I remember reading an article surrounding the hullaballo of Tiger Mom a few months back and realizing that, although I would never resort to the disrespect and humiliation demonstrated there, it *was* possible that Hunter is even more resilient than I had been giving him credit for, and that perhaps my hope for him to be driven by internal desire (which works pretty well for the most part) rather than forcing him to stick with something after he no longer wants to do it could be mitigated; maybe requiring him to do that little bit more than he wants to so that he reaches the next level of accomplishment is a tool I should consider adding to my repertoire. The thing is, it’s not a one-size-fits-all technique. It depends on the situation, how much sleep he got, what else is going on in our lives, etc. Parenting is an ongoing process.

    And, for the record, my dad did help pay for my therapy to fix stuff from my childhood. 😀

    As far as the “In my next life….” article, I don’t get it either, other than perhaps metaphorically, since I’ve already had so many different lives over the past four decades.

  3. Pingback: Things I Learned While My Kid Was at Camp « The Blue Room

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