The Idle Parent by Tom Hodgkinson

The Idle Parent by Tom Hodgkinson

Carrie McBride
May 15, 2009

We'd read this book if we weren't too busy being idle. Actually The Idle Parent by Tom Hodgkinson hasn't been published in the US yet, but we did read a few excerpts on Slate and are finding ourselves attracted to the idle parenting style he advocates.

One excerpt titled "Don't take your kids to amusement parks or museums" proposes a ban on the ritualistic weekend family outing filled with the hassles of coralling the kids and their belongings only to spend the day in long lines at "shoddy" museum exhibits (he also details many more of the indignities of his family outings).

This is not the idle way. The truly idle delight, instead, in staying at home. Rather than the passive entertainment that he thinks most outings offer now his family relaxes, cooks together and just plain find things to do at home. Sure, this doesn't sound revolutionary. Plenty of families are more inclined to spend quality time together at home, but we think he's really advising parents to just relax, enjoy the moment, and stop overscheduling their families.

For someone who espouses idleness, Mr. Hodgkinson sure has written a slew of books: How To Be Idle: A Loafer's Manifesto, The Book of Idle Pleasures, The Idler's Diary and many others. You can read more about The Idle Parent here. Excerpts can be found on Slate.

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