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A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting Hardcover – April 15, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Marano, editor-at-large at Psychology Today and author (Why Doesn't Anybody Like Me? A Guide to Raising Socially Confident Kids), takes a penetrating look at the growing trend of invasive parenting. Marano likens many parents to hovering helicopters or snowplows trying to remove all obstacles. The unfortunate result is that children become increasingly fragile, unable to make decisions or cope with failure. Interspersing her text with interviews from experts and cutting-edge research, Marano follows the trail from heavily programmed preschoolers and overprotected grade school kids to stressed out, overachieving high school students and dependent college kids caught in a rising campus mental health crisis (thanks to cellphones, the new umbilical cord, they carry their parents in their jeans pockets). Rather than helping children to find success and happiness, the author argues, this over-involvement has exploded into a generation of infantilized wimps who can't handle everyday life. Instead, she advises, help your kids fail—more is learned from mistakes than from success, including critical thinking skills. The book is chock-full of fascinating information, some of it controversial, such as a suspected link between a diagnosis of ADHD and insufficient free play in the early years. Marano's dire warning to back off will hit a raw nerve with many parents, but her message may come not a moment too soon for their kids. (Apr.)
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"Most of us agree that some parents are overbearing and that their children may be both fragile and burdened as a result. Ms. Marano, you had us at 'wimps.'" —The Wall Street Journal
"A scathing commentary on contemporary parenting." —The Boston Globe
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Learn to fail as well as win, fight their own battles and devise strategies to cope with problems without adult supervision.
Will change in schools and higher education be controlled by parents and dollars?
What potential buyers should know is that this book was inspired by an article the author published in a magazine the year before. The book is just that--an article that shouldn't have been expanded. Sure, the content is interesting, but you have to dig through pages of filler to find the interesting content.
Many of the chapters say the same thing in so many words--"Parents who suffocate their children may be harming them/Helicopter parenting is bad". On the whole, the book never says exactly why helicopter parenting is bad, but rather, explains the consequences in terms of how the child will be affected.
If you are looking for a book that refers to why children should not be helicoptered over, try "Free Range Kids" by Lenore Skenazy. The tone of that book is humorous as well; "A Nation of Wimps" is rather dry and repetitive.