More Pizza! More TV! Now, That's a Parenting Plan

Filed under: In The News

parenting plan

Mmmm ... Pizza. Credit: AP

Oh, for crying out loud, let your kids eat pizza and watch TV.

It's not going to kill them.

Paying for all sorts of private lessons? Driving to and from organized sports? None of that matters, a parenting expert tells the London Daily Mail. Your child is going to be who he or she is determined to be no matter how much you meddle.

So, let them have a little more pizza and television along the way.

Dr. Bryan Caplan is not what you would call a Tiger Mother, author Amy Chua's description of the hyper-involved, micro-managing parent who would scare a Marine Corps drill instructor. Caplan tells the Daily Mail parents need to take an industrial strength chill pill.

He claims all that stuff Chua outlines in "The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" doesn't make the slightest difference in how kids turn out. Instead, he tells the Mail, parents should "cut themselves some slack" and stop trying to avoid the minutia of their children's lives.

He calls this "Serenity Parenting."

The Tiger Mothers of the world would call it a crock of [bleeep]. But Caplan claims such parents are simply fighting destiny.

"Nature, not nurture, explains most family resemblance," he tells the Mail. "Quit fretting over how much TV your kids watch. Don't force them to do a million activities they hate. Accept that your children's lives are shaped mostly by their genes and their own choices, not by the sacrifices you make in hopes of turning them into successful adults."

Caplan, an academic and economist from George Mason University in Virginia, has a book of his own, "Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being A Great Parent Is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think."

"Right now, parents are 'overcharging' themselves for each kid," he tells the Mail. "Parents can sharply improve their lives without hurting their kids."

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