"... languishing in front of the TV watching Phil Donahue and eating Boo Berry until my skin turned purple. Nobody cared if I read. Nobody cared if I wore sunscreen, or pants. I was like a house cat; my parents barely even knew if I was still living with them or whether I had moved in with the old lady down the street who would put out a bowl of food for me. In the '70s, parenting was like a combination of intense crate-training and rumspringa, so I would typically spend June through September burnt to a crisp and wandering listlessly around the city, verging on scurvy."
Writes Samantha Bee, who's now got 3 little kids and is tired of today's overachieving "tiger mother" style of parenting.
I did my childhood summers in the 1950s and 60s, and I can tell you my parents did not get the slightest bit involved in my activities. There was a community pool that we had tags to get into if we felt like going. We had bikes. What we did with these things was entirely up to us, and there wasn't a word of criticism if we chose to watch TV all day or a hint of praise if we read books or went outside. My parents never made the slightest show of putting any effort into good parenting. Looking back, I can discern that they had some principles that they stuck to, but these principles were things like self-reliance and personal autonomy, so it was hard to notice, and they didn't pontificate about these principles, which I'm only inferring they had.