Not a hipster parent? It's okay, you have other options

Filed under: Media, That's Entertainment

Hipster parents are all the rage these days, thanks to Neil Pollack and his bible of alternative parenting. But what if you're NOT a hipster? What if you're wearing Keds to the park, not Chuck Taylors? What if your kids are listening to the Wiggles instead of Death Cab for Cutie? What if you are driving a MINI VAN? What do you do then?

Not to worry--Jennifer Conlin has your back. The Perfect Parents Handbook takes a satirical look at our urge to label various parenting styles. Conlin divides parents into nine "perfect" groups, including Neo-Traditionals (family logo: Starbucks latte), Martyrs (sacrificing everything, including their own sanity, for the kids), and of course, Hipsters ("Biggest Parenting Challenge: Keeping their kids in the public school system"). Her very funny premise is that unless you find the right parenting group, and follow all the rules of what to wear and where to live and what to drive, your offspring will never get into Harvard. Because isn't that what we ALL want?

Conlin's satire, which has a deadpan presentation similar to that of the mocumentary Spinal Tap, works both because it is funny and because it rings true. "Once you become a Perfect Parent," Conlin tells us, "you'll learn to be judgmental about the way other parents do every little thing too." The Perfect Parents Handbook is brilliant because it reminds us that we are not all divided into discrete groupings, and that the healthiest thing we can do is laugh at ourselves. (And in case you're wondering, I'm a Neo-Traditional: "You work in an interesting, but badly paying profession.")

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.