Former Stanford University dean Lythcott-Haims presents a convincing vision of overprotected, overparented, overscheduled kids in this report on the current state of childhood and parenting in middle- and upper-class families. Lythcott-Haims, the mother of two teens, counts herself among those who have taken far too many aspects of their children’s lives into their own hands. Today’s young adults, she asserts, lack life skills and resilience; they can’t competently make decisions, manage risk, overcome setbacks, or take charge. Along with overprotection, she sees a trend toward racing kids onto a fast track, with unreasonable pressures to get into highly selective colleges. After presenting the problem in detail (through interviews with college admissions officers, educators, parents, and others), she offers a number of viable solutions, encouraging parents to nurture kids’ unique gifts rather than mold them like “little bonsai trees” and to help them develop life skills (e.g., doing chores, critical thinking, public speaking). She also claims that lower-income kids are more likely to end up with the grit necessary for success, while elite grads struggle to grow up. The overparenting trend, Lythcott-Haims contends, is harmful not only to kids but also to parents who are stressed and overscheduled themselves. This vigorous text will give parents the backup needed to make essential changes. Agent: Kimberly Witherspoon, Inkwell Management. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/06/2015 Release date: 06/09/2015 Genre: Nonfiction
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