Jennifer's Reviews > The Idle Parent: Why Laid-Back Parents Raise Happier and Healthier Kids

The Idle Parent by Tom Hodgkinson
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's review
Aug 31, 10

bookshelves: parenting
Read in August, 2010

Maybe 2 stars is too harsh, but I hated to give it 3. I found that the entire time I was reading the book I was making a mental tally in my head of Things I'd Say Amen To versus Things That are Absolutely Ridiculous. The book is not very well researched, other than the author dusting off a few old philosophers' work. There just aren't many facts behind his claims. Much of the book seemed contradictory to me: He lauds laying on the couch with a beer and leaving the kids alone to find things to do, and yet he has high praises for homeschooling, which I'm sure is a lot more labor-intensive than he'd like to think.

I definitely agree with the general premise of the book-- sit back and give your kids a chance to be independent and creative without hovering over their every move; don't let screen time interfere with real life; don't overschedule; don't put your kids on a pedestal and toss all of your money and attention in their direction. I just didn't think the book was very well executed, and many of the examples fell flat for me.

I don't regret reading it by any means; it was worth my time. But I can only manage to give it 2 stars.
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