How the French are influencing a generation of helicopter parents

After years of over-scheduling their kids, some moms and dads are taking cues from the French and backing off

Sonia Schneider was a mom in the grip of a parenting mania. Eager to expose her young children to as many enrichment opportunities as their peers, the Brookline mother signed her preschooler and kindergartner up for so many classes last year that her 5-year-old was too busy for play dates.

“She’d want to read a book together,’’ Schneider said, “but I’d say, ‘We don’t have time for that, you have to get into your leotard.’ ’’ The extracurricular activities continued to escalate. Until Schneider finally hit bottom. “We started doing private ukulele lessons.’’

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