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Economist Senior Editor Finds Parenting Wisdom in "Mary Poppins"

Mr. Banks leaves the office to go fly a kite

Ryan Avent, Senior Economics Editor at The Economist, weighs the variables of "High Pressure Parenting" as he considers whether our efforts are really "worth it" in a tangible way. He acknowledges that the intensity--for some beginning before children are born--does not let up. He identifies his feelings, which many will relate to, here:

"That sense of panic that I felt in my first year at university has recurred off and on. It was there in my early 20s, when my friends and I lamented our entry-level jobs and ran in terror to graduate school to be spared the need to confront the sheer awfulness of adult life. It is there, a bit, when I learn of a peer’s great success. And it is there, I find, when I hear of the achievements and talents of my friends’ children.

That panic is useful. It is a spur in the gut, reminding me to keep running. But I don’t want my kids to feel that panic."

Most of us do not want our kids to feel that panic. The college process occurs when they are just starting out. Heaping pressure on them suggests that there is only one way to success, one way to happiness.

Avent points out how Mr. Banks, in Mary Poppins, after stressing the importance of banking to his children, has an experience beyond his control. This triggers an epiphany that leads him to flying a kite with his kids. As we have much to teach our kids, they have plenty to teach--and remind--us about what really matters. Read the full article at the link below.

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