Hmm. I'm not sure how to write this review since I know a lot of people will really hate this book. And for valid reasons (read this Amazon review for a brief overview). However, I loved it. Mostly.
If you've read any Tom Hodgkinson before, you'll know that by "idle" he doesn't mean "lazy" - well, not entirely, anyway - rather that the best way to live is doing what you want to do rather than struggling to meet some sort of ideal. At least, I think that's what it is...
Basically, for me Idle Parenting means enjoying your children, but also leaving the alone to get on with, well, whatever they want to get on with.
Hodgkinson believes - and I agree - that we worry about our children too much. We obsess with them academically, we fear for their safety, we constantly fret about turning them into good citizens when all they want to do is play. And that, Hodgkinson believes, is what they should do. And the best thing about that is while they're playing, the idle parent can read a book, chat to friends, have a beer. Yes, we all do that anyway, but often guiltily, believing we're skiving off from doing something stimulating or improving with the children. But they don't need it.Now it's certainly possibly that all of the above may be wrong and I just choose to believe it because it allows me to sit and watch Gossip Girl repeats while Joe plays with an empty tissue box, but that's a chance I'm willing to take.
I don't agree with everything in this book, but Hodgkinson writes so entertainingly and engagingly (and is also happy to admit to not taking his own advice) that I did enjoy every page.