The Idle Parent is Tom Hodgkinson's radical parenting remedy against stifled, mollycoddled children.
Modern life is wrecking childhood. Why can't we just leave our kids alone?
If you've ever wondered why so many of today's children are unhappy, spoilt, stressed and selfish, then the answers and the remedy are to be found in The Idle Parent.
Tom Hodgkinson wants us to leave our kids be, to give them the space and time to grow into self-reliant, confident, inquisitive, happy and free people. Full of practical tips of what to do and (more importantly) what not to do, Tom will not only help your kids be happier, but also help you, their parents, live happier and more fulfilled lives.
'Wise, practical, funny, personal, it will make you a much better parent' Oliver James
'An inspiring book, genuinely subversive. Time to put away "silly adult things" and embrace childhood in all its messy glory' London Lite
'A recipe for bright, happy people with need of neither television nor shrink. Who could ask for more?' Evening Standard
'An original, thought-provoking book' Toby Young, Mail on Sunday
Tom Hodgkinson is the founder and editor of The Idler and the author of How to be Idle, How to be Free, The Idle Parent and Brave Old World. In spring 2011 he founded The Idler Academy in London, a bookshop, coffeehouse and cultural centre which hosts literary events and offers courses in academic and practical subjects - from Latin to embroidery. Its motto is 'Liberty through Education'.
Find out more at www.idler.co.uk.
Daily Telegraph parenting columnist Hodgkinson, author of How to Be Idle and editor of The Idler magazine, argues for the primary parenting principle of "leave them alone" in this witty, welcome guide to raising happy, self-sufficient children. Beginning with a 21-point manifesto ("We try not to interfere"; "An idle parent is a thrifty parent"; "We reject the inner Puritan"; "We embrace responsibility"), and quoting extensively from such unlikely parenting authorities as Rousseau and D.H. Lawrence (the source of "leave the children alone"), the married father of three explores a range of child-rearing issues, from sleeping and mealtimes to whining, and repeatedly makes a convincing case for the power of letting children be. Citing damage done by overzealous parents, he's critical of television, the Wii, scheduled activities, all toys but the most basic ("simply pluck a branch from a tree"), and anything else including school that gets in the way of a child's imagination, sense of freedom, and independence. While his suggestions may seem disquieting, or put well-meaning parents on the defensive, they're grounded in a solid sense of reality, a sincere interest in fulfilling children and parents, and experience: "We wasted hundreds on absurd devices, like the thing that they sit in and use to walk around the room. No: they learn how to walk on their own."