Next weeks sees the publication of my latest parenting book: ‘Taming the Tiger Parent: How to put your child’s well-being first in a competitive world.’
Those who have read the review copies so far have told me they were surprised to find the book so shocking.
Educationalist Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood, who I respect hugely, has even questioned if parents can handle the truth.
After all it’s a hugely painful moment to realise that what you thought you were doing in the best interests of your child is actually harming them.
For parents, who have been led to believe there is no choice but to push, push push, it’s daunting even to consider stepping off the bandwagon when every one is driving it at full-throttle.
But the book contains one unassailable truth: Unhappy children can’t learn.
Pressuring our children is leading to an unprecedented rise in anxiety, learning blocks, like Maths Anxiety, as well as a disconnection from our children which is striking at the heart of our relationships with them.
‘Taming the Tiger Parent’ may be just one book, but there is already a movement afoot.
Whether it’s slow parenting, minimalist parenting, free-range parenting – or the more bluntly named calm the f*** down parenting, there is a growing recognition that we all need to resist the impulse to micro-manage.
The change starts with you, letting go bit by bit. We need to set our ideas of what our children are ‘supposed to be’ – and let them be what they are.
Most of all, we need to appreciate how wonderful our children are in their own way – even if it’s not in the way we once wanted them to be.