by Tom McBride

There’s nothing quite like starting a 40year trend. And, even better, doing it quickly. By the end of Regan’s first term Stranger Danger, Play Dates, Bike Helmets, and Satanic Panic were all big cultural trends, and they have yet to exhaust themselves. By the 90s “Velcro Parents” and “Helicopter Parents” had entered the lexicon.  They’re still growing strong, with children’s self-esteem and safety on the line, and a growing trend towards consumerism in daycare, summer camp, grammar and elementary schools, and even colleges and universities. So far, it seems, graduate and professional schools have escaped. Such parents and guardians have mindsets. Read on. 

1 Stranger Danger has always been a thing. 

2 A Play Date is rarely a bad idea. 

3 Maybe they should wear helmets when learning to walk, too. 

4 HOME ALONE and FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF were Hollywood cautionary tales about parental irresponsibility. 

5 The car seat is the greatest invention since the wheel. 

6 Satan in daycare is unlikely but can’t wholly be ruled out.. 

7 What’s wrong with anti-slip booties in the winter time? 

8 Bubble Wrap protects everything, inanimate or otherwise. 

9 Isn’t finding the missing piece of the puzzle for her a boost tyo her self-esteem? 

10 See-saws can be really dangerous sometimes. 

11 Lots of Mozart piped into the crib could be worth five points extra on the SAT someday. 

12 Who was that dreadful Senator Buckley who made it impossible for me to get my child’s college grades without his permission? 

13 My first duty is protection; my second one is vetting. 

14 BEST IN SHOW would have been even better if they’d made it about kids. 

15 “OK” is an oratorio to my ears when my kid texts me. 

16 “Empowering” is my most important product. 

17 Sometimes it’s really hard not to answer the preschool teacher’s questions myself. 

18 I wasn’t really writing her paper for her–just showing her how to do it better. 

19 Eternal overscheduling is the price of security. 

20 I can’t buy this Marcus Aurelius stuff about Stoic acceptance–I have a child to raise while he just had an Empire to run. 

21 My child is not a student but a consumer, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.22 The true moral of ABOUT SCHMIDT is that children who don’t listen to their parents marry nincompoops.23 The real hero of TONYA ws the mother., 24 Brittney Spears’s father probably isn’t all bad.

25 Comparing us to helicopters or velcro is an insult to the power of both. 

26. What are those teachers up to with my MY child?

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