Martini Service on Tiger Helicopters

Welcome to modern parenting theory debates. There are many theories and they all seem have laid claim to some vivid description: Tiger, Free Range, Attachment, Slacker, Helicopter, Martini...but they break down into long range and short range theories.

The short range theories focus upon the immediate needs of children. Though they may have different tactics, the Tigers, Attached, and Helicopters soothe the present tantrum, avoid the imminent injury, and worry about the next year of school. For them, parenting is about attention to detail, what is going on right now, and how to get to the next step.

The long range theories focus on later needs of children. They are broader both in their timeline for success and their standards of success. The Free Range, Slacker, Martini set often sacrifice some immediate "need" of their children to character building.  Frustration now builds a child's tolerance for frustration.  A small injury at six helps them learn to avoid a bigger one at 16 or 26.

I, unlike most of my peers in Gen X, am firmly in the long range set. It is a long and lonely slog. I am constantly on the lookout for company and converts, so I write Martini Service on Tiger Helicopters posts often. I am happy to report that this category has the liveliest comment threads around here, though you will see that it is often a few Martini moms scattered across the world giving each other strength and encouragement. To that end, I offer a reading list:
  • The Hurried Child  Written during the short range heyday of the Power Woman 80's, this book by child psychologist David Elkind probably started the long range backlash. I recommend the 25th anniversary edition as it has a new forward and chapter material illustrating how bad things have gotten and how much work there is left to do.  
  • The Six Point Plan  If The Hurried Child explains why we do what we do, The Six Point Plan is an excellent how-to do what we do.  I've also heard good things about Love and Logic, though I've not read it myself.  For Christians, Rosemond also has Parenting by The Book which provides the scriptural foundations for long range parenting.  
  • Free Range Kids  I've linked to the blog because it is easy to find the book and the blog has loads of other links.  
  • Confessions of a Slacker Mom  Written by a rancher's daughter, this is a straightforward and heartening presentation of parents of the long range style.
  • The Three Martini Playdate  This one is my favorite. It is practical and very funny.  And I must admit, I am amused by her appeal to liberal moms. Long range parents tend to be conservative. We are the ones who believe in higher powers and universal truths and are, therefore, less susceptible to whims of society. So this poor liberal mom got frustrated fitting in at FoxNews. If long range parenting is lonely for a conservative, it must be downright isolating for a liberal.  She really wants company.

1 comment:

politicaljunkiemom said...

I love John Rosemond. Adore might be a better word. We have pjKid on the "ticket" system, and though not perfect, there's much to be said for putting a nearly 4 y-o in charge of her own behavior. I guess we've done it for the past year. My favorite criticism thus far: my SIL was "horrified" at how "barbaric" we are to our daughter. You know,to make her responsible for her own actions. ; ) Barbaric.

I look forward to checking out the 3 Martini--Thanks!