“Hyper Parents & Coddled Kids”

Here’s a program note:

Tonight at 9:00 p.m. (Eastern Time), CBC-TV airs the documentary, Hyper Parents & Coddled Kids.  As the title suggests, it’s about one of the current styles of parenting: the film  looks at the cultural pressures on parents to raise exceptional children and the impacts on their children.

Here’s a preview:

And here’s what the television critic of The Globe and Mail has to say about this phenomenon and the documentary:

Say you write for a newspaper. Just say you do. Play along here. You get an e-mail from a university student, asking for advice or assistance of some kind. This happens, actually. Not everyone thinks yours truly is an eejit. You’d find, as I do, that about 10 per cent of such queries contain multiple spelling errors. But oodles of ego. And then there’s the utter indifference to facts. Once I came across a kid who had just been given a BlackBerry for Christmas. Cool gadget. Yeah, man. When, by way of idle chat, I asked if the young man was aware that the BlackBerry was a Canadian thing, product of this wizard of a company called RIM, the reply was, “No it isn’t.” Such a concept was just too alien. Don’t. Get. Me. Started.

Hyper Parents & Coddled Kids (CBC, 9 p.m.) goes some way toward explaining why many kids are totally ignorant, rude and cursed with an enormous sense of entitlement. It’s the parents’ fault. Little Johnny and little Jane are perambulating geniuses, or at least are told that since they first emerged from their mothers and squawked.

A good deal of the material in the program – made by Sharon Bartlett and Maria LeRose – is derived from Carl Honore’s book, Under Pressure: Rescuing Childhood from the Culture of Hyper-parenting. And it often states the obvious – over-anxious, middle-class parents cultivate their children as exceptional creatures from the start. The kids never get to enjoy the pleasures or the freedoms of childhood. They are too managed. They are over-praised. The parents have a deeply unhealthy fear for their children’s safety at all times.

I’ll be watching!

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