Parents today are more fearful than ever about their children’s future. But what if their constant worry is hurting their kids more than helping them? Psychologist Madeline Levine warns that overprotection, intolerance of uncertainty and emphasizing achievements over human kindness puts kids’ mental health at risk. Though she wrote this book more for affluent parents than those worried about putting food on the table, Levine nonetheless reminds readers that to solve the kinds of problems they will face in the 21st century, all children need curiosity, a moral compass and a critical mind.
Parents resist giving up control over their children’s lives out of fear that the world is a dangerous place.
Most people will agree that, in an uncertain world, helping your children find stability and success is a top priority. But sometimes, parents can go too far. Mental health is deteriorating among America’s youth, and suicide rates are climbing. To ensure that kids develop emotional intelligence and the ability to self-regulate, parents need to adjust their thinking away from protection and toward resilience. But this is harder to do than it sounds. Many see the world in black and white, with only winners and losers. Thus, they constantly interfere in their kids’ lives – which winds up adding more stress. The world is undoubtedly changing rapidly. But looking to the past doesn’t prepare you for the future as it once did. Instead of landing a single, great, lifelong job, successful individuals will need to embrace lifelong learning.
Parents today must recognize the “dysfunctional realms” in the child/parent world that need correcting:
- Unhealthy overachieving – With such high expectations...
Madeline Levine, is a psychologist, consultant, educator and the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Price of Privilege and Teach Your Children Well.