Parenting Out of Control: Anxious Parents in Uncertain Times by Margaret K. Nelson
(New York University Press, 2010, 257 pages)
In spite of its title, Nelson’s book is actually about all types of parenting styles. Nelson, a sociology professor at Middlebury College, paints a social landscape of modern day parenting in America. She analyzes the choices parents make and possible reasons and explanations. I was fascinated by the vast data, interviews, personal stories and author’s interpretations.
Nelson offers timely coverage about parental intervention on the hard-to-balance usage of cell phones, iPods and tech toys. I can just picture the constant negotiations between parents and children getting hotter day by day. Parents are also adapting new technologies to help with raising children. A not so new device many parents are interested in is a GPS tracking/speed device. It does not prevent behavior, but gathers information that can be used for disciplinary decisions later. Some parents express concern about invading the privacy of their children while others are using it to coach and teach their young drivers to drive more safely. According to the author, the insurance industry now promotes GPS tracking in cars as a way of keeping children safe.
The book is informative and entertaining at times. Nelson termed extreme parenting as “Parenting out of control.” These parents are also called helicopter parents or hovercrafts. Recommended for parents and anyone who’s interested in where we are headed as a society. Children are our future, you know.