Well, I spoke to my parents about whether they thought our generation was more obsessed than theirs about the damage they were doing to their kids. They said that we probably were and thought that contributing factors might be:
a) Having kids older – and thus having lost our naivety about life and ourselves.
b) Having fewer kids – and thus being able to focus more obsessive energy on each one.
c) Having so much more (too much) information about parenting from books and the internet.
d) Being too isolated in the parenting experience – and thus lacking the grounding and reassurance that can come from having other and older people around.
It did strike me that getting advice from books and websites rather than from actual people was much more likely to fuel our parental neuroses than ease them.
What to do?
I’ve decided to try to spend as much time as possible with friends who make me feel good about my parenting, or with whom I don’t really talk about parenting at all. This may involve organising more monthly events (I’m a huge believer in the monthly event). I already have a couple, but I have a few ideas about some more.
As for reading about parenting, I’m not going to stop reading parenting books entirely, but make sure that I read at least four or five non-parenting books in between (which shouldn’t be too hard, since this is exactly what I currently do).
I’ve also decided that Susie and I should have our next child in our twenties, and that by then we should try to have a much larger family for that second child to be born into.
Any other thoughts?