The Idle Parent: Why Less Means More When Raising Kids and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
  • RRP: £8.99
  • You Save: £1.80 (20%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
The Idle Parent: Why Less... has been added to your Basket
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Idle Parent: Why Less Means More When Raising Kids Paperback – 25 Mar 2010


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£7.19
£3.43 £0.90

Trade In Promotion


Frequently Bought Together

The Idle Parent: Why Less Means More When Raising Kids + How To Be Idle + How To Be Free
Price For All Three: £25.16

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (25 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141030356
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141030357
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom Hodgkinson was born in 1968 and is the author of How To Be Idle and How To Be Free. He is editor and co-founder of the Idler and contributes to the Guardian, the Sunday Times and the Independent on Sunday. He also imported absinthe for a while. He lives in Devon with his family.


Product Description

Review

`The sort of book which any self-respecting child would wish their parents had read. Gently comedic on the surface, it is a book about serious freedom underneath. Profoundly sane, kind and endearing, it is written with a huge generosity of spirit as an act of family-liberation.' --Jay Griffiths, author of Wild: An Elemental Journey

'Wise, funny, practical and personal, The Idle Parent puts the fun back into parenting.' Oliver James --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Wise, funny, practical and personal, The Idle Parent puts the fun back into parenting.'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Kado on 3 May 2010
Format: Paperback
I agree with another reviewer here; The Idle Parent is infuriating. It has the potential to be a good read but there are far too many inconsistencies in Hodgkinson's theory. Plus, he has an awkward humour and style of writing, and his name dropping is tedious.

I agree with Hodgkinson's general principle that we should avoid over-parenting and that mindless consumerism is bad for us, however, he struggles to fill a book on this topic. As well, it seems as if he hasn't quite thought through his manifesto; he chooses which rules suit him, whenever it suits him.

Example: in one chapter where he talks at length about how 'childcare' has become outsourced, he warns against the hiring of nannies and talks about how the hiring of theirs was a terrible thing and how they became dependent on her. Yet, in another chapter he recommends hiring a nanny to make life easier, how theirs was the most wonderful thing and that she enabled them to get some sleep. There are many similar inconsistencies throughout the book.

Also infuriating are his many generalisations and silly assertions that range from the naive (all schools should aim to be more like Eton) to the absurd (the reason the examination results of his former school, Westminster - which he raves about - were better than everyone else's is due to their term time being 2 weeks shorter. Apparently, it had nothing at all to do with Westminster attracting the cream of the crop).

The chapter on No More Family Days Out is his strongest, genuinely amusing and insightful and giving us food for thought. I wish the rest of the book had been as effective as this one. The weakest chapter is Down With Schools, which comes across as smug and elitist and irrelevant. The book would have been better off without it.
Read more ›
5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
102 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Flora Cake on 21 July 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have not encountered such an infuriating book for a long time. I am broadly speaking a continuum concept, idle parent sort of person, but this book had me chucking it a couple of times. I know how I parent and am happy with it, so I was in no way reading it as a guide, which is just as well as this book is not aimed at people like me.

The main issue I have with this book is that its demographic is clearly ONLY the middle class professional who has plenty of money, a garden and lots of choices about how and where they live. I first chucked this book when people living on the 10th floor should get allotment space so the children can be left to potter. I live on the fourth floor - I assume that this also applies to me - but where am I going to find an allotment?! I live a mile from the City of London! And even if I could find one I wouldn't be able to afford the few quid it costs.

I chucked this book a second time when the author starts going on (at some length) about private education. Did you know that you could easily save £10,000 a year if you just cut out things that you really don't need? No? Neither did I. If I wanted to free up that kind of money - double it in fact as I have 2 kids - we would all starve and have no home - £10,000 being 90% of my annual income. In this section he also completely contradicts his idle parent hypotheses by giving as an example of a woman who really wanted to send her child to Summerhill and raised the money by working a market stall! NOT very idle!

A frankly laughable aspect of his analysis of the wisdom of private education was inferring that Eton is the epitome of autonomus education and therefore fulfils all the criteria for the free thinking anarchist or autonomous parent!
Read more ›
17 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Nagy on 11 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
As a childcare professional and a soon-to-be parent, I read this book with delight as it reminded me how important it is to allow our children to be autonomous!

For women especially (as the research clearly states) it is difficult for us to let and watch our children struggle with a challenge, but it is such an important learning experience for them. I am also a big lover of getting 'back to basics' and ditching the silly amounts of electronic and interactive toys that children these days seem to own. What ever happened to the joy of digging in the garden, hunting under plant pots for insects or making an outdoor den all afternoon?!

I also like the idea of not over-praising children for 'ordinary' tasks, but applying 'appropriate' levels of praise for each attempt or activity your child completes. (I am a HUGE believer in positive over negative reinforcement, but I also agree that over-praising can be detrimental to personal development and appropriate levels of praise can encourage our children to create goals and challenges for themselves... again, more autonomous learning!)

A great read, but as always, read someone else's suggestions with a pinch of salt and always adapt them to what YOU feel is correct. You are the parent or caregiver that is ultimately responsible for your child/children and your gut feeling is almost always right! :)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By P. Howarth on 19 May 2010
Format: Paperback
An infuriating book. Its main idea is to leave your kids alone so they grow up independent and free. Let them get back to nature, let education follow their instincts, unplug from the grid, avoid big government and big corporations and amusement parks. However, like D. H. Lawrence, whom Hodgkinson quotes a lot, there is a strong authoritarian impulse behind all this laissez-faire - but in this case, it's authoritarianism directed at you, the reader and parent. This book has more commands in it than Deuteronomy. Drop your job. Rent a field and let your kids play. Steer clear of plastic amusement parks and all other entertainments which the aspiring, over-eager, anxious lower-middle classes contaminate with their sanitised fun. Don't play with computers. Don't camp in authorised camping sites, which are full of fat people in caravans. Don't think you'll enjoy yourself going on expensive foreign holidays, because you won't, and there'll only be tears when you return, you know. Hodkinson rails against Puritanical moulding of kids into model citizens, but there's the same nagging reformism at work in his relentless prodding of their parents, a kind of authoritarian demand that you WILL make yourself free. Why, after all, must we be taught to be idle? Surely real idleness would have been not to write the book at all, but that would have spoilt a nice little earner. This book capitalises just as surely on middle-class guilt as all the corporate-driven, over-anxious, over-involved parenting it criticises.

The Idle Parent is, however, genuinely idle in its thinking.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback