In Praise of Slowness: Parenting Books about Slowing Down

‘Under Pressure’ and ‘In Praise of Slowness’ by Carl Honore

Green Turtle Stencil with Sign Reading Just Slow Down
Photo Thomas Hawk|CC

Carl Honoré, author of ‘Under Pressure’ and ‘In Praise of Slowness’, inspires parents to slow down and find the natural balance between too little and too much parenting.

According to Honoré, our culture of speed, efficiency, and success is damaging both parents and children. He is a strong advocate of slow living, slow parenting, and the Slow Movement.

Honoré writes, “a number of trends have converged at the same time to produce a cultural perfect storm. The workplace is faced with uncertainty and competition which makes us all a bit more anxious about equipping our children for adult life and jobs for the future.

The consumer culture has created soaring expectations: we now want perfect teeth, perfect hair, a perfect body, perfect vacations, a perfect home, and perfect children to round off the portrait.”

The pressure to manage every detail of our children’s lives is overwhelming. Honoré feels that parents in this generation may have lost their confidence amidst the myriad of ideas and advice on parenting.

All of this makes parents easy prey for the companies hawking unnecessary tools for childrearing and very vulnerable to pressures from other parents and society at large.

Slow Movement Parenting Styles versus Hyper Parenting

In ‘Under Pressure’, Honoré talks to families around the world and sifts through the latest scientific research revealing real dangers of micromanaging children. He advocates that parents teach by example, make sacrifices, and impose limits — finding the balance between too much and too little parenting.

Hyper parenting is now prevalent worldwide. In Japan, “education mothers” devote their life guiding their child through the education system. In Scandinavian,”curling parents” frantically sweep the ice in front of their child to ease their way through life. In the United States, “helicopter parents” are always within arm’s reach to protect their child.

Enjoy, don’t over think, parenting.

But Honoré advocates for enjoying, not over thinking, parenthood…” Instead of baking a cake with your child because it will teach them about weight, volume, and arithmetic, or canoodling with your baby because it will build his prefrontal cortex, do these things for the sheer joy of it. Leave the developmental payoff to take care of itself.”