cover image Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success

Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success

Madeline Levine. Harper, $25.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-182474-6

In this powerful text, psychologist Levine (The Price of Privilege) argues that “our version of success is a failure.” Levine reports that our nation’s ideas of success have led to children and teens who are stressed, anxious, depressed, and exhausted (as are many parents). Kids are on a fast track to higher grades and impressive tests scores, prestigious colleges, and relentless competition—goals that are wearing everyone out—rather than focusing on such skills as resilience, creativity, innovative thinking, and the ability to collaborate. While academics are important, Levine maintains, growing up to become authentically successful involves making friends, playing, developing a sense of self and emotional intelligence, and many other nonacademic tasks. In separate chapters, the author takes readers through the stages of child development that occur in elementary, middle school, and high school, and includes practical tips on how parents can help kids flourish during each phase. According to Levine, our society is at a “tipping point,” and it’s time to redefine success so that kids can meet their full potential in academic and other areas without relinquishing their well-being. The text also includes various examples that illustrate the ways in which kids and parents are struggling with our “dysfunctional system.” Though bucking the trend may be a challenge, parents who want their kids to succeed without compromising their health or losing the joy of learning will be buoyed by Levine’s support, encouragement, and guidance. (Aug.)