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High anxiety: Why can't some parents let go of baby?

Parent-anxietyWe've heard the jokes about helicopter moms and dads.

We heard the outrage over “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” and author Amy Chua’s style of omnipotent parenting.

We've heard experts galore tell adults to back off and worry less.

Then why do so many parents still feel so much anxiety?

Times staff writer Mary MacVean reports on the phenomenon. She finds many parents do want to obsess less about kids' grades, friends, plans for college and prospects for employment (or lack thereof). Yet few know how -- or if -- they can change their behavior.

The Bond: This piece is the first in a new series looking at the changing nature of parent-child relationships. We welcome comments and story ideas at home@latimes.com.

Headlines: For an easy way to follow future coverage, join our Facebook page for design, decorating and home life.

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This story really hit home for me. It's so accurate for many parents in LA...the anxiety, the competition, the expectations. Great story!!! I look forward to the rest of the parenting series.

The over-involvement of parents in their children's lives is partially driven by the misguided notion that kids require constant attention, praise, and guidance. In our efforts to raise more confident offspring, we are actually creating a more dependent, depressed, and narcissistic generation. Our culture supports this degree of over-involvement, making it difficult for individuals to choose to behave differently. It is one thing to know what is right. It is another to do it.
As a psychotherapist in practice for over 30 years, I decided to write a book that would address exactly this problem. It takes guts to parent independent of a culture. Parents need to educate themselves.

Sheri Noga, MA
"Have the Guts to Do it Right: Raising Grateful Children in an Era of Indulgence"

Most women I see who cant let go are often women who have waited to have a child, had trouble having a child, and tend to want to hold on to the experience and do it right no matter the cost.

And sadly, since the 80's we tend to have more parents who make it such a big deal, and thus arent parents as much as they are owners of something (the child) like they are with their expensive car, home etc. Thus the child is something that reflects the parents standing in society, as the parents want themselves to be seen.

Good grief one need only to see the cable shows geared to designer babies and the stuff the parents fret over to see how off tract we have become as a society.


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