The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Tuesday, 22 April 2008]

Review: The Price of Privilege

Important book about how pressure from well-meaning parents hurt affluent children.

A practicing psychologist, Madeline Levine wrote The Price of Privilege after noticing an increase in serious problems, such as depression, substance abuse, and cutting, among teenagers from affluent families.

The book’s subtitle, How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids sums it up neatly.

Levine’s basic argument, supported by anecdotes from both her practice and from those of other psychologists, is that the “culture of affluence” and its emphasis on material possessions and perfection, is leading parents into making choices in their child rearing that, while well-meaning, ultimately hurt their children.

These choices include pressuring children into being “perfect” at school and in social occasions—often accomplished by bribery and threats—and by trying to ensure success for children by micromanaging their lives and becoming helicopter parents.

The end result is that these children, while coddled, don’t get the opportunity to develop their inner selves and thus end up “empty.”

It’s pretty bleak reading, but the closing section of the book offers advice on how to avoid the traps and help children grow up to become healthy adults.

The Price of Privilege is one of those unfortunate books that is important and deserves to be read, but probably won’t be by those who need it the most.

Well worth the time and with lots of food for thought.

« Holy Docsis, Batman!


Enjoy the ten latest posts!

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice

Impressions moving from an Apple Watch Series 3 to Series 5

Is there reason to upgrade from a 3 to a 5?

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything

Often injustice lies in what you aren’t doing, not only in what you are doing

Die in a ditch

After all these years, Nic still can’t understand the American attitude to healthcare.

The big thieves hang the little ones

Book roundup, part 29

A sci-fi and fantasy heavy installment that includes The Valedictorian of Being Dead, The Mastermind, Broadsword Calling Danny Boy, Tiamat’s Wrath, The Raven Tower, The Liberation, The Light Brigade and Cryptonomicon.

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable

Book roundup, part 28

Includes The Incomplete Book of Running, Aching God, The Murderbot Diaries, Lies Sleeping, The Consuming Fire, and Rendezvous with Rama.

Las Vegas trip report

Did you know Las Vegas is kind of nutty?