SHANA, a bright and chirpy 12-year-old, goes to ballet classes four nights a week, plus Hebrew school on Wednesday night and Sunday morning. Her mother Susan, a high-flying civil servant, played her Baby Einstein videos as an infant, read to her constantly, sent her to excellent schools and was scrupulous about handwashing.
Susan is, in short, a very conscientious mother. But she worries that she is not. She says she thinks about parenting “all the time”. But, asked how many hours she spends with Shana, she says: “Probably not enough”. Then she looks tearful, and describes the guilt she feels whenever she is not nurturing her daughter.