Are Americans turning their kids into wimps?
Time Magazine recently interviewed an editor-at-large from popular magazine Psychology Today. The topic? Children, and whether or not we're turning our kids into wimps. Hara Estroff Marano, the interviewee, had much to say on the subject of children, and how we raise them. Marano, who is also a grandmother and author of a new book titled A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting, says we are turning our kids into wimps. She says we need to let our kids have bad experiences as it's the only way they learn.
Marano pointed out her research on the college campus, noting that her colleagues commented that many of the students they were treating lacked coping skills. Says Marano, "...they have no idea how to manage the vicissitudes of life." Why has this happened? Well, according to Marano we're worried about our kids being successful. We push them too hard to achieve, and we worry more about branding than experience, focusing on sending them to the best schools, etc., when perhaps the brand name of Harvard or Yale is not what they need. Access to information through the Internet makes everything fleeting and transitional and ultimately obsolete before we can even understand it fully.
Marano also argues, along with much of our nation, that our children are being over-medicated and that play time is not valued as it should be. And, shocker, she feels we're too involved in every aspect of our children's lives. So how to deal? Well, according to Marano, we need to step back, let kids prove their competence, let them play, and make sure we eat together five times a week. I don't know if doing these things will save our kids from being wimps, or if they're wimps in the first place, but she does provide an interesting perspective.
Your thoughts? Do you think we overprotect our children and undervalue their ability? Or is that what it takes to get through this crazy modern world?
Pic by summitcheese.
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