On Good Morning America yesterday they interviewed several very successful youngsters about the ways their mothers had raised them. This was all part of the spin-off from the book Tiger Mom that sparked such interest and discussions.
One young Korean girl thanked her mom for being the typical Tiger Mom. Another was grateful for the hands-off, love-you-for-whoever-you-are approach of what was called the Hippy Mom. The third found comfort in the hovering care of his Helicopter Mom. I found several things very interesting.
First, they made no mention of the different personalities of the kids. Obviously if these kids were successful there was a good match between the needs of the kids and the parenting they received. This says nothing of the train-wrecks that were not mentioned.
Secondly, it shows the diversity in parenting styles in this country.
But thirdly and I think most poignantly, for once we're talking on a national level about something moral. We're talking about the "right" way to raise the next generation of humanity. We've studiously avoided moral issues since the 70's and the breakdown of a common moral consensus in our society, and now, at this particularly strategic point of enculturation of our children, all of a sudden we're deciding we need to talk again.
I profoundly applaud the effort. I don't know where it will take us, but some consensus is better than none at all, for none at all leaves us at the mercy of the most anxious people among us. With a consensus we've got a yardstick by which to measure leadership, and therefore, greatness.
Talk away! (By the way, my Mom was a Mother Hen Mom....)