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Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Ageby Dan Kindlon
Synopses & Reviews
"We give our kids too much and expect too little of them." With these words, psychologist and bestselling author Dan Kindlon begins a journey that takes him from his groundbreaking research (with teenagers, parents, and educators) into an examination of the ways in which the emotional indulgence of parents deprives children of the opportunity to learn from adversity.
While many of the adolescents today have all the useful accessories of a prosperous society cell phones, credit cards, computers, cars they have few of the responsibilities that build character. Under intense pressure to be perfect and achieve, they devote little time to an inner life, and a culture that worships instant success makes it hard for them to engage in the slow, careful building of the skills that enhance self-esteem and self-sufficiency.
In this powerful and provocative book, Kindlon delineates how indulged toddlers become indulged teenagers who are at risk for becoming prone to, among other things, excessive self-absorption, depression and anxiety, and lack of self-control. In searching interviews with educators, this book draws lessons from those working on the front lines with parents who too often think that they can buy their children's achievements and protect them from failure. There are also the voices of the kids, painfully confused by parental absence and lack of involvement in their lives.
And there are the voices of the parents, including Kindlon himself, who are afraid to set limits, who want to be their children's friends rather than authority figures. who feel guilty about their work-obsessed lives. Amidst all these concerns and minefields, how can parents today raise competent kids with character?
Dr. Kindlon reveals the data and dissects the behaviors that parents must be on the alert for in their children. Too Much of a Good Thing maps out the ways in which parents can reach out to their children, teach them engagement in meaningful activity, and promote emotional maturity and a sense of self-worth. It offers wisdom and enlightenment as an all-embracing guide into the hearts and minds of parents and children.
"Kindlon, a psychologist, has spent time surveying and speaking to parents and kids in an effort to understand teen-rearing today....Kindlon offers sound, albeit brief, advice; in the chapter on life skills, for example, he urges parents to help their kids acquire interests that will hold their attention....While this book is handy, a better organization with chapter summaries of advice would have made it even stronger." Publishers Weekly
"The parental impulse to protect children from failure, pain, and disappointment has crossed over into an indulgence that threatens to harm the healthy development of American children, according to Kindlon, coauthor of the best-selling Raising Cain....Kindlon outlines the seven deadly syndromes of overindulgence and advises parents on how to curb their impulses and develop responsibility and resourcefulness in their children. This is must reading for parents, those guilty of overindulgence and those in denial." Booklist
"Eye-opening....It beautifully explains the rationale between being a good parent first and a good friend second." Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
"Must-read for all parents in its suggested techniques, tools, and practical advice for raising children of conscience and character..." Joan Gantz Cooney, originator of Sesame Street and co-founder of Sesame Workshop
"Written with conviction, backed up by empirical evidence, and illustrated with vivid anecdotes." Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., author of Driven to Distraction and Worry
"The book that all of us who deal with children in this millennium want in the hands of every parent!" JoAnn Deak, author of How Girls Thrive and co-editor of The Book of Hopes and Dreams
In this powerful and provocative book, the author of the bestselling Raising Cain maps out the ways in which parents can reach out to their indulged children, teach them engagement in meaningful activity, and promote emotional maturity and a sense of self-worth.
About the Author
Dan Kindlon, Ph.D., teaches psychology at Harvard University, where he has been a faculty member for the past seventeen years. The co-author of Raising Cain, a New York Times bestseller, he lives in Boston with his wife and two children.
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