Tuesday, July 31

Failing Our Children by Worshipping Success

Madeline Levine’s book, "Teach Your Children Well," is a reflection on our distorted view of success, and how we as parents pass this through to our children. From the New York Times review (emphasis mine):
"...Levine’s latest book is, in fact, a cri de coeur from a clinician on the front lines of the battle between our better natures — parents’ deep and true love and concern for their kids — and our culture’s worst competitive and materialistic influences, all of which she sees played out, day after day, in her private psychology practice in affluent Marin County, Calif. Levine works with teenagers who are depleted, angry and sad as they compete for admission to a handful of big-name colleges, and with parents who can’t steady or guide them, so lost are they in the pursuit of goals that have drained their lives of pleasure, contentment and connection."
And:
"These are parents who run themselves ragged with work and hyper-parenting, presenting an 'eviscerated vision of the successful life' that their children are then programmed to imitate. They’re parents who are physically hyper-present but somehow psychologically M.I.A.: so caught up in the script that runs through their heads about how to 'do right' by their children that they can’t see when the excesses of keeping up, bulking up, getting a leg up and generally running scared send the whole enterprise of ostensible care and nurturing right off the rails." 
How to Raise a Child (NYT book review of 'Teach Your Children Well,' by Madeline Levine).

Previously here on Opensewer, along this line of thought: Why Are You So Busy? and Envy, Snobbery, And A Gentler Philosophy of Success.

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