Familynomics: Laissez-Faire, Marxist and Keynesian Parenting

Parenting is Flat CoverI have to put those Econ classes in college to good use, right? For my next book, Parenting Is Flat: How Globalization Has Changed Familynomics, I talk about how globalization has affected family structure and parenting styles around the world.  I also realized that many parenting styles could in fact be compared to various economic principles.  So, I decided, why not?

In the book, we are looking at Macrofamilynomics which looks at overall trends, patterns and developments in parenting and family relations as a whole.  In this post I wanted to delve into Microfamilynomics, or some of the smaller theories on parenting philosophies.

Familynomics n the social science of how the dynamics of family relationships change, develop and grow.

Lets look at how Economic Theories can be applied to parenting: (these definitions are very loose)

Laissez Faire Parenting

Laissez-Faire Economics n An economic theory that supports little or no state intervention on economic issues, which implies free markets, minimal taxes, minimal regulations and private ownership of property.

Laissez-Faire Parenting n Parents who take a hands-off approach to parenting and believe that less rules, less intervention and management will produce more independent and strong minded kids.

Keynesian Parenting

Keynesian Economics n A macroeconomic theory based on the ideas of economist John Maynard Keynes, which argues that private sector decisions sometimes lead to inefficiency and therefore advocates active government responses to stabilize growth in private business.

Keynesian Parenting n Keynesian Parents constantly struggle between giving their children space, while guiding them in the right direction.  A mix of Marxist protection and involvement, with the desire to be Laissez Faire.

Marxist Parenting

Marxist Economics n Economic theories based on the works of Karl Marx who argued that a free market would eventually harm laborers.

Marxist Parenting n Marxist Parents believe that they must put time, effort and energy into their kids because kid’s will be unable to do it on their own.  The parents area also know as Teacup Parents or Helicopter Parents and observe, manage and invest in all areas of their children’s lives. They are worried about protecting their children from negative outside forces and tend to be very strict.

Of course, these are extreme examples. Yet, I see a lot of similarities to the parents I work with.  What kind of parent are you? What kind of parent did you have?

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