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Can parenting less actually lead to happier children?

"The first step to happier parenting," he observes, "is to abandon 'recreation' enjoyed by neither parent nor child." Your daughter hates ballet class and you hate schlepping her there? Drop it. Planning to travel hundreds of miles for a family vacation that will make everyone miserable? Try a "staycation" instead. Get take-out food, he urges, and hire a housekeeper. But above all get a nanny—even if she doesn't speak fluent English or have a driver's license. Your life will be easier, and your kids won't be any worse off—they may even turn out better, since you'll be setting a better example by being less anxious.


Asked by tasches at 4:31 PM on Apr. 16, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (4)
  • I DO NOT agree with any of this.

    Answer by vbruno at 4:32 PM on Apr. 16, 2011

  • I agree with some of this--like the drop ballet if your daughter hates it and you hate driving there. Or even the if vacation will just make you all miserable, then don't go. Those two points were fine.

    But, to say that tV is great for kids and that you can leave them home alone at age 7 to run errands is a joke, as were a lot of other points he tried to make.

    Answer by layh41407 at 4:36 PM on Apr. 16, 2011

  • I have to admit when I have a full time maid life is much easier and I am less stressed. My husband as a gift to me has hired a maid for the duration of my pregnancy and for as long as I want to have one after our baby is born. She starts on Monday and it will be nice to not have to deal with laundry, cleaning and dealing with the pool. I have so many other things going on in the next few months it will be less stressful to have some help.

    I agree with dropping activities the kids hate my kids have to honor their commitment for the time they signed up then they are done. We often take staycations to our lake house it is only an hour from home and the kids love it there. We will stay there all summer while my husband commutes. I won't buy nasty take out cooking is a huge stress reliever for me and what we eat has a huge impact on our healthy and well being.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:40 PM on Apr. 16, 2011

  • I didn't read the article but I think he had some good points- don't worry about the things that don't make anyone happy. I don't think getting a nanny or housekeeper is important, but more so evaluating what actually makes your family happy and then going from there, not doing things just because everyone else is, or it's the thing to do.

    Answer by skittles1108 at 4:41 PM on Apr. 16, 2011