Under Pressure: Putting the Child Back in Childhood
From the Publisher
"Why do grown-ups have to take over everything?" This innocent question from acclaimed journalist andinternational bestselling author Carl Honoré’s son sparked a two-year investigation into how our culture of speed,efficiency, and success at all costs is damaging both parents and children. When the impulse to give children thebest of everything runs rampant, parents, schools, communities, and corporations unwittingly combine forces tocreate over-scheduled, over-stimulated, and overindulged kids. The mere mention of potty-training, ballet classes,preschool, ADD, or overeating is enough to spark a heated debate about the right way to raise our children. Theproblem is that despite the best intentions of all involved, the pressure to manage every detail of our children’slives from in utero through college is overwhelming.
Delivering much more than a wake-up call, international bestselling author Carl Honoré interviewsexperts in Europe, North America, and the Far East, talks to families around the world and sifts throughthe latest scientific research. Not only do we see the real dangers of micromanaging children, but Honoréalso shows us an emerging new movement inspiring many to slow down and find the natural balancebetween too little and too much. Blending the finest reportage, intellectual inquiry, and extraordinary truestories,
is the first book to challenge the status quo by mapping out an alternative to theculture of hyperparenting that is presently pushing children and their parents to the brink.
Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman
Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children
The central premise of this book by Bronson (What Should I Do with My Life?) and Merryman, a Washington Post journalist, is that many of modern society's most popular strategies for raising children are in fact backfiringbecause key points in the science of child development and behavior have been overlooked. Two errant assumptions are responsible for current distorted child-rearing habits, dysfunctional school programs andwrongheaded social policies: first, things work in children the same way they work in adults and, second, positivetraits necessarily oppose and ward off negative behavior. These myths, and others, are addressed in 10 provocativechapters that cover such issues as the inverse power of praise (effort counts more than results); why insufficient sleep adversely affects kids' capacity to learn; why white parents don't talk about race; why kids lie; that evaluationmethods for “giftedness” and accompanying programs don't work; why siblings really fight (to get closer).Grownups who trust in “old-fashioned” common-sense child-rearing—the definitely un-PC variety, with nonegotiation or parent-child equality—will have less patience for this book than those who fear they lack innateparenting instincts. The chatty reportage and plentiful anecdotes belie the thorough research backing up numerouscited case studies, experts' findings and examination of successful progressive programs at work in schools.