Saturday, February 19, 2011

Katha Pollitt is right as usual

From the February 28th issue of The Nation:

Are you a tiger mother, a soccer mom, a helicopter parent, an attachment mom, a permissive free spirit who just wants your child to be herself? Congratulations. Your kids have a good chance of turning out reasonably well. Not because you are a parenting genius who has hit on the perfect method but because you have the time and energy and cultural capital to give your child what he needs to be successful in today's world no matter what child-raising method you choose.... Your ex may have run off with your best friend, your apartment may be too small, you may hate your job - but you are still a white collar, college-educated, middle-class person. And that makes all the difference for your children.

The biggest barrier to educational achievement today is not any of the things the media talk endlessly about: poorly prepared teachers, badly run schools, too many tests, low standards. It's child poverty - which, like poverty in general, has just dropped out of the discourse....

The parenting wars look like they are about children, but really they are only about each parent's own child. That's why they serve such a useful social function. Without them we might have to think about the frightening place America is becoming for ever more millions of kids. Who knows? We might even feel that we should do something about it.

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