I had a great experience today as I wiled away my lunch hour in the book store down the street from my office. I thumbed through a great book by Carle Honore called Under Pressure: Rescuing Childhood from the Culture of Hyper-Parenting. The basic jist of Honore’s book is that today’s kids are being denied the simple pleasure of being a child. The book is filled with colourful tales that will make you laugh – and cry. We’re all raising our kids in a hyper-programmed environment that isn’t accomplishing the intended outcomes. Instead of raising brilliant achievers, kids are increasingly becoming depressed and socially underdeveloped.
Here’s how the publisher, Random House, describes the book: “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, Honoré 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.”