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!

Book roundup, part 27

Includes Hollywood Dead, Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood, The Court of Broken Knives, and Port of Shadows.

To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle

“Cancel everything. You’re going into emergency surgery today”

Nic has a retinal tear and has his vision is saved by a laser.

Book roundup, part 26

Includes The Storm Before the Storm, White Trash, Calypso, Tell the Machine Goodnight, Prince of Fools, and Provenance.

Renewing the nerd card: Installing Ubiquiti UniFi in the house

The Internet tells Nic to install Ubiquiti gear in his house, so he does, and now he has thoughts.

The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism

Working in the pod mines

What I wish I’d known when I started podcasting.

It is impossible for a person to begin to learn what he already thinks he knows

Smell the Foam Finger

Nic starts a new podcast about—gasp!—American sports.

Book roundup, part 25

Mostly excellent non-fiction in this installment. Includes Fantasyland, The Miracle of Dunkirk, Das Reich, The Undoing Project, Waiting for the Punch, Vacationland and Points of Impact.