Reviving the family
Saturday, March 01, 2003
Mary Pipher offers survival tips for parents
Time is on Mary Pipher’s mind. "A friend said to me that the most radical thing you can do today is to slow down," she says. "Everyone is rushing, there’s less time to savor, people find there’s less time for themselves. Instead of being in the moment, youthinking about what you need to do tomorrow." Pipher, a psychologist and author of "Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls," fires off troubling statistics: The average parent spends 22 hours less a week with their kids than a decade ago; 45 percent of adults come home from work exhausted. "Parents need to make sure they have time alone with their kids when they’re focused and present, when they’re not multitasking and when the TV isn’t on," Pipher says. "Time is a great gift to children." Pipher who will speak at 4 p.m. March 16 at Dominican University, 7900 W. Division, River Forest, offers help to stressed families. In her new book, "The Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding our Families," Pipher tells of families thriving when a parent cuts back on work and when a disaffected teen discovers the joy of helping the elderly. Parents, she says, need to think about the broader culture. While there are family-friendly uses for computers—e-mailing grandparents—Pipher believes too much technology takes children away from families. "What kids aren’t doing with their time is learning about real people and learning real skills like cooking, gardening or sewing. No one feels good about themselves because they can play computer games. That’s not the way self-esteem is built. "Parents have the power to limit technology," Pipher says. Tickets ($20, $10 for students) are available from Parenthesis Parent-Child Center, (708) 848-2227 or online at www.parenthesis-info.org.
-- Monica Ginsburg