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Lions Roar : March 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN MArcH 2009 30 “laissez-faire parenting.” Parents who use this style aren’t absolutely chummy with the child, but rather approving from a dis- tance. They don’t want to set rules, though when push comes to shove they will par- ent. Adrian, a woman in my book, grew up with that style of parenting and so when I asked her how her parents expressed au- thority, she was confused. She didn’t think of her parents as authority figures. That’s the boomer style of parenting. What kind of parents are people in their late twenties, thirties, and forties? They tend to be “helicopter parents,” con- stantly praising and interacting. They want to be their kids’ best friend, and they track their kids’ daily activities really closely be- cause they want to run interference. The helicopter parent is the one that colleges complain about, the kind that calls a profes- sor to find out why the kid got a bad grade. What’s the third type of “i’m ok, you’re ok” parenting? “role-reversal,” parenting that makes the children the leaders. These parents see their children as having the ultimate wisdom. An extreme expression of this is the Indigo evo- lution, a movement in which parents ideal- ize their children as being above them—as literally being geniuses or gods. What are the results of “i’m ok, you’re ok” parenting? Children may not be prepared for adult life. They may not leave home in a timely manner or they may be unhappy with very desirable circumstances. I feel a lot of empathy for this generation of young people, this generation Me, because they’re out of sync with things like hierarchy, adversity, and even self-deter- mination. They so often get depressed if they aren’t the best really quickly. how can Buddhism help us to get out of the self-esteem trap? The Buddha taught that an over-focus on the self is the fundamental cause of suffer- ing. That doesn’t mean you can’t be mindful of the experience of the individual self—you With more than 500 graduates worldwide this precious 2-year course offers guiding tutors, meditation, study and online discussion. Created by Geshe Tashi Tsering, one of the west’s leading Buddhist minds and resident teacher at Jamyang Buddhist Centre, who is renowned for his ability to make Buddhism accessible and relevant to modern day life. Courses start every 4 months in January, May and September. For more information and to apply visit: www.buddhistthought.org A fully integrated and structured correspondence course that brings together the most important teachings of the Buddha The Foundation of Buddhist Thought Distant Learning Course Jamyang Buddhist Centre Tel: (+44) 020 7820 8787. email: