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The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids Hardcover – July 3, 2006
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The book's main thesis is that teenagers from affluent families suffer more intense psychological problems than anyone thought. Her findings reflects her 25 years of experience as a psychologist working with children in Marin County and her reviewing related clinical studies on the subject. Dr. Levine has extensively referenced the material of the book. Thus, her thesis and arguments are well supported by contemporary psychological research.
The book includes four parts. The first part diagnoses the psychological problems affecting teenagers from affluent families. The second part reviews how our material culture contributes to undermining the development of the inner self. The third part provides recommendation on how to parent to overcome cultural hurdles and develop healthy children.Read more ›
I have to say that I was blown away by the observations in this book, even if, thankfully, I certainly have not experienced the worst-case scenarios described in this book with my own kids, who are now 19 and 16. Among many other things, Levine explains how "rewarding" kids by promising material things ("if you get an "A" on your test, I will buy you X or Y") has a long-term negative effect on kids. Levine also goes into depth about internal vs. external motivation, and why praise is often "bad" warmth for kids. As to "chasing perfection", Levine observes that "the pursuit of perfection is a diversion from the messiness of real life". So true! The main proposition made by the author is that, while of course it is important that we put our kids in a position to get good grades, even more important is that we help our kids with building their inner "self", which will prepare them for the long term. Reason why overinvolvement in our kids' lives is actually counterproductive.
I cannot emphasize enough what a wonderful job Levine does in describing the dangers of putting too much pressure on our kids. Which does not mean that she endorses a "slacker" attitude either. This book is about how we can best prepare our affluent kids for the long term. And it's not like the author is making a hypothetical or theoretical or academic case, giving ample real life evidence from her own practice and from studies around the country. I certainly recognized mistakes I have made, which I now wish I could've avoided, making me wonder wishfully, where was this book when I really needed it 5 or 10 years ago...
When I first saw the title, I sighed. Another book on poor, spoiled rich kids.
We don't think of ourselves as "affluent" but our children certainly are privileged and Dr. Levine gets right to the point. The issue isn't money, but what we do and what we neglect to do for our kids. More time, the wonderful phrase "inviting, listening presence" and less time sticking our noses into every bit of our kids lives. I particualry liked the clear suggestions about how to handle the inevitable problems of adolesence and the difficulties of being parent whether one has a few extra bucks or is just making ends meet.
A good book not only for the "affluent" but for anyone who has paid enough attention to know that all is not right with our culture, values and parenting skills.
I found this book useful for two reasons in particular. First, Dr. Levine does an outstanding job of presenting the facts. While everyone seems to have an opinion about what's wrong with the current generation _- too spoiled, too lazy, too indulged- Dr. Levine sticks to what we actually do know about the adjustment of affluent kids, and that is that they are often unhappy. And that their unhappiness stems from having too much of the wrong things (pressure and material goods) and too little of the things that kids really need (acceptance, limits, challenge). I suspect that to many of us this is not entirely a surprise
Which brings me to the second thing I really liked about this book. In spite of bringing foward a host of rather disturbing realities, The Price of Privilege never feels depressing or makes you feel like you really screwed up. On the contrary, Dr. Levine's generous sharing of family incidents, as well as her empathy and humor, keep us feeling that with just a few adjustments we can do a much better job.
Truthfully, I believe her.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dr. Levine makes some good points but this book left me feeling that I didn't that I didn't get a very deep analysis about this topic. Read morePublished 10 days ago by amy
I was very disappointed with this book. Maybe...it's because this is old news and I found a lot of the book to be redundant, "preachy" and boring! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This is a good book, overall. It has an interesting thesis/premise: Parental pressure and material advantage are creating a generation of disconnected and unhappy kids. Read morePublished 1 month ago by George Fulmore
The Price of Privilege is one of the better books I've read in quite some time. I found it insightful, approachable, and practical. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Benjamin G. Walter
Excellent parenting advice. As a school counselor for 36 years, I would highly recommend it to any parent wishing to gain perspective on their children, and themselves.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
We are raising an entitled generation. The question is - Will they take care of us when we get old? Probably not...Published 3 months ago by "Lady!"