Parent Buzz

Alpha, Beta, Tiger, Slacker: Which One Are You?

By Kara Baskin

In response to the countless Tiger Mom and Helicopter Parent articles barreling across the Internet, the Huffington Post offers a manifesto for Beta parents.

The thrust of the article is valid (and funny!) — kids aren't science projects and sometimes parents just need to chill out. Our progeny won't be destined for a life of petty thievery even if we fail to enroll them in the proper school or summer camp. But why the compulsion to categorize ourselves?


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Alpha, Beta, Tiger, Helicopter, Slacker ... It seems most parents are hybrids. We have good days, we have bad days, we have stressed days, and we have days when we simply nail it. Most of us just want the best for our kids.

For an interesting look at modern parents' inclination toward self-analysis and self-reproach, check out the new book by journalist Jennifer Senior, All Joy and No Fun. She examines how kids shape parents' identities (a departure from the typical studies on how parents can either bolster or doom their children) and how we define ourselves in relation to our kids and other parents.

It's a thought-provoking read, whether you're Alpha, Beta, or Undeclared. Assuming you have time to read, that is.

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