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New parenting skill trend: Taking it slow

Author James Dunsford
Submitted 03-06-2009

For a world that seems to have the fast-forward button pressed indefinitely, slowing down aspects of parenting may just be the right idea.

It’s a new trend that’s emerging and has taken aim at the multitasking father who is scheduling acting classes on the cell phone while dropping the kids off at soccer practice. Instead, the idea is to slow down, discover the important activities and take the time to concentrate on those.

The idea has been credited to author Carl Honore whose book The Power of Slow: Finding Balance and Fulfillment Beyond the Cult of Speed served as the impetus of the slow parenting movement. Though he never actually mentions the term "slow parenting" in the book, the author recently told the New York Times that the term has "gained currency" and he’s happy to use it.

"Slow parenting is about bringing balance into the home," Honore explained to the Times. "Children need to strive and struggle and stretch themselves, but that does not mean childhood should be a race. Slow parents give their children plenty of time and space to explore the world on their own terms."

This means doing away with what some have called helicopter parenting, with fathers and mothers possibly being too involved in their child’s life.

Instead, the philosophy dictates fathers should use their parenting skills to have an open dialogue with their children as well as identifying when to avoid pushing their child too hard into one activity.

One common example that is given in various stories is the idea of the gifted child (one who presents an above-average skill in something like art or music). Some parents will hear the term "gifted" from a teacher or instructor and immediately begin thinking of enrolling their child in after-school programs to foster their potential.

The slow parenting movement suggests avoiding this type of action and instead says parents should allow their child to come into their own in a more natural manner.ADNFCR-1662-ID-19199441-ADNFCR