Sunday, January 9, 2011


How do we end up with hyper-parenting:
1.  "We want our children to have the best of everything and to be the best at everything.  We want them to be artists, academics, and athletes, to glide through life without hardship, pain, or failure."

2.  "Schools, churches, grandparents, etc. are all involved in hyper-parenting.  Each is seeking to manage children's lives so that they don't make mistakes or suffer by making bad choices."

3.  "This is the first generation to star in their own version of the Truman Show."

4.  "To recruit college students, some blue-chip companies have started sending out "parent packs" or holding open-house days when Mom and Dad can vet the company for their children."

5.  "By any yardstick, we are raising the most wired, pampered, and monitored generation in history."

6.  "Children from homes with an annual income between $120,000 - $160,000 are three times more likely to become depressed or anxious than their less affluent peers."

7.  "Employers complain that new recruits are less flexible, less able to work in teams, and less hungry to learn.  Raised on a pedestal, children come to expect the world to fall at their feet - and they get angry when it doesn't.  They don't want to take risks as they have been told that they dare not veer off of the safe line that their parents and others have planned for them."

8.  "Reared on someone else's definition of success, with failure not an option, children can also end up with narrow horizons.  At a time when the global economy is crying out for risk-takers, we are teaching our children to play it safe, to follow the path handed down by others."

9.  "When adults hijack childhood, children miss out on the things that give texture and meaning to a human life - the small adventures, the secret journeys, the setbacks and mishaps, the glorious anarchy, the moments of solitude and even boredom.  The message sinks in at a very young age that what matters most is not finding your own way, but putting the right trophy on the mantelpiece, ticking the right box instead of thinking outside the box."

10.  "Bubble-wrapping children drains the life from public spaces.  Look around neighborhoods and do you see children out playing.  We have taught children that the outside, unplanned world is a scary place and that they are better off in front of a computer or TV."

11.  "Children thrive when they have the time and space to breathe, to hang out and even to get bored, to relax, to take risks and to make mistakes, to dream and have fun on their own terms, even to fail."

Notes are reactions based on Under Pressure by Carl Honor'e


  1. Such profound comments which I think are so true. Rick and I live on 21 acres of forest, stream and field. He keeps telling me to invite my sisters grandchildren over to "play." I keep telling him they would not know how to "play" with just branches from the trees, forest and their imagination. Children are growing up thinking outside is just sidewalks where you ride your bike up or down... or play is on the computer.

  2. Heaven, Gaye! I bet our family could figure out how to play, hang, swing, glide, zipline, etc. at your ranch!

  3. Have you read the book - The Dumbest Generation? I started reading it but haven't finished it yet. If you have, what are your thoughts?