Re “Stress, Exhaustion and Guilt: Modern Parenting” (The Upshot, front page, Dec. 25):
Listening to parents who helicopter and those who free-range, one can hear a key difference that is often missed, often denied by the parents: goals. Helicopter parents focus on their children’s success in societal terms, on beating the Joneses; free-rangers want their children to be strong, self-determined, at peace, what we used to call self-actualized, even if later on they don’t make a lot of money or win awards.
Although these goals shouldn’t be mutually exclusive they are often wildly so in the real world, as shown by the research your article mentions. How about a little balance, a little appreciation and carrying out of both goals — combined, of course, with attention to what suits the child, who, research shows, does come out of the womb with strengths, weaknesses, interests and proclivities.
The writer is a clinical psychologist.