Synopses & Reviews
"Why do grown-ups have to take over everything?" This innocent question from acclaimed journalist and international bestselling author Carl Honorés son sparked a two-year investigation into how our culture of speed, efficiency, and success at all costs is damaging both parents and children. When the impulse to give children the best of everything runs rampant, parents, schools, communities, and corporations unwittingly combine forces to create over-scheduled, over-stimulated, and overindulged kids. The mere mention of potty-training, ballet classes, preschool, ADD, or overeating is enough to spark a heated debate about the right way to raise our children. The problem is that despite the best intentions of all involved, the pressure to manage every detail of our childrens lives from in utero through college is overwhelming.
Delivering much more than a wake-up call, international bestselling author Carl Honoré interviews experts in Europe, North America, and the Far East, talks to families around the world and sifts through the latest scientific research. Not only do we see the real dangers of micromanaging children, but Honoré also shows us an emerging new movement inspiring many to slow down and find the natural balance between too little and too much. Blending the finest reportage, intellectual inquiry, and extraordinary true stories, Under Pressure is the first book to challenge the status quo by mapping out an alternative to the culture of hyperparenting that is presently pushing children and their parents to the brink.
"Honoré presents a list of ways in which parents all over the developed world have long been robbing their children of their childhoods by inserting themselves into every facet of their children's lives....Joining a crowded field of child-rearing books, this is an excellent choice." Library Journal
"[A]n important new look at the evolution of child rearing among the global middle class. Honore's final words to parents are comforting: Trust your instincts and let your children be children. There's time enough for all that achievement later." The Oregonian (Portland, OR)
"[A] must-read book for parents, educators and all concerned with the health and well-being of America's children." Madeline Levine, Ph.D., author of The Price of Privilege
"Under Pressure is a Godsend! Full of common sense advice..." Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of The Wisdom of Menopause
The bestselling author of In Praise of Slowness proves what many already suspect: that the headlong dash to make perfect children is unhealthy for everyone. Blending top reporting, intellectual inquiry, and true stories, this book is for those who want to put the child back in childhood.
From the bestselling author of In Praise of Slowness
comes a fascinating and urgent look at childhood today and how we are raising a generation of over-programmed, overachieving, exhausted children.
For generations of children, growing up was a pretty simple business: you went to school for a few hours a day, you dabbled in hobbies and sports, and the rest of the time you played. Or maybe you just day-dreamed. Carl Honore explains how our modern approach to children is backfiring: our kids are fatter, more myopic, more injured, more depressed and more medicated than any previous generation. By using children as a way to relive our own lives, or as a way to make up for our personal shortcomings, we have destroyed the magic and innocence of childhood. Under Pressure is not a parenting manual but a call to action; we must do better for our children.
Using fascinating anecdotes about obsessive parents (including one about the father of a tennis player who drugged all his child's opponents), solid research and personal insight, Honore explains the over-parenting phenomenon, dispels myths and rallies for change in clear and persuasive prose. Topics explored include the use of technology as babysitting, how enrolling children in hours of extracurriculars every week can do more harm than good and how we underestimate the resilience of our children at the expense of their freedom.
About the Author
After studying history and Italian at Edinburgh University, Carl Honoré worked with street children in Brazil. This inspired him to take up journalism. Since 1991, he has written from all over Europe and South America, spending three years in Buenos Aires along the way. His work has appeared in publications on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Economist, Observer, American Way, National Post, Globe and Mail, Houston Chronicle, and Miami Herald. His first book, In Praise of Slowness, was an international bestseller.