Joan Acocella's “the Child Trap: the Rise of Overparenting”

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Joan Acocella’s Article “The Child Trap: The Rise of Overparenting” is based on the idea that parents push their children to become better and brighter than their peers. Parents try to jumpstart their child’s learning beginning when they are just infants. The Walt Disney Company produces the Baby Einstein DVDs and CDs that play music from Mozart and Beethoven, claiming to give a head start academically. Preschoolers have taken away playtime with more reading and math and it only becomes harder as the child gets older. Once standardized testing starts, parents being to look at the other students as competition and might hire tutors. (Acocella) Parents have also resulted to insisting that their child has special needs and should not be timed with standardized testing.

Acocella also discusses how after-school activities are thought to impress college admissions officers, overparented children also participate in multiple extracurricular activities. Sports, clubs and various classes are all related into making what society might call a well- rounded student. Children typically attend camps specializing in certain skills over the summer as well. (Acocella)

All of these things go towards what Acocella calls “The Last Judgment: college applications.” Parents have tried to perfect their child’s applications to get into the top schools. Unfortunately, when the child goes to college, the overparenting continues. Parents keep tabs on their children via technology and buy a second home in their child’s college town. This could result in the students working harder to achieve good grades and a job but it might also result in what Acocella calls “boomerang children” who flock back to their homes, due to the “high housing costs, heavy competition for good jobs, and the burden of repaying college loans, but another factor may be sheer habit, even desire.” (Acocella)

Acocella then shows us the other side of overparenting asking: “Is it really wrong for us to push our...
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