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Madeline Levine has been a practicing psychologist for twenty-five years, but it was only recently that she began to observe a new breed of unhappy teenager. When a bright, personable fifteen-year-old girl, from a loving and financially comfortable family, came into her office with the word empty carved into her left forearm, Levine was startled. This girl and her message seemed to embody a disturbing pattern Levine had been observing. Her teenage patients were bright, socially skilled, and loved by their affluent parents. But behind a veneer of achievement and charm, many of these teens suffered severe emotional problems. What was going on? Conversations with educators and clinicians across the country as well as meticulous research confirmed Levine's suspicions that something was terribly amiss. Numerous studies show that privileged adolescents are experiencing epidemic rates of depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse -- rates that are higher than those of any other socioeconomic group of young people in this country. The various elements of a perfect storm -- materialism, pressure to achieve, perfectionism, disconnection -- are combining to create a crisis in America's culture of affluence. This culture is as unmanageable for parents -- mothers in particular -- as it is for their children. While many privileged kids project confidence and know how to make a good impression, alarming numbers lack the basic foundation of psychological development: an authentic sense of self. Even parents often miss the signs of significant emotional problems in their "star" children. In this controversial look at privileged families, Levine offers thoughtful, practical advice as she explodes one child-rearing myth after another. With empathy and candor, she identifies parenting practices that are toxic to healthy self-development and that have contributed to epidemic levels of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse in the most unlikely place -- the affluent family.
The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kidsby Madeline Levine
Levine, a clinical psychologist and lecturer on child and adolescent issues, describes how elements of affluence and the pressure to excel in school affect children in negative ways and hinder them from creating a sense of self. She discusses problems with materialism, what a healthy "self" is, and parenting challenges and strategies for different ages, as well as ways to promote autonomy, work on discipline and control, and what they need to think about in terms of their own lives and selves. The final chapter focuses on what mothers can do.
Psychologist Madeline Levine, author of the New York Times bestseller The Price of Privilege, brings together cutting-edge research and thirty years of clinical experience to explode once and for all the myth that good grades, high test scores, and college acceptances should define the parenting endgame. Teach Your Children Well is a toolbox for parents, providing information, relevant research and a series of exercises to help parents clarify a definition of success that is in line with their own values as well as their children's interests and abilities. Teach Your Children Well is a must-read for parents, educators, and therapists looking for tangible tools to help kids thrive in today's high-stakes, competitive culture.
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