The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon (Revised edition)

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9780201073973: The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon (Revised edition)

Often with the very best intentions, Americans expose their children to overwhelming pressures, pressures that can lead to low self-esteem, to teenage pregnancy, and even to teenage suicide. By blurring the boundaries of what is age appropriate, by expecting or imposing too much too soon, we force our kids to grow up too fast, to mimic adult sophistication while secretly yearning for innocence.With the first edition of The Hurried Child, David Elkind emerges as the voice of reason, calling our attention to the crippling effects of hurrying. But in the decade since this book first appeared, a new generation of parents has inadvertently stepped up the assault on childhood, misled by the new and comforting rhetoric of childhood ”competence.”Now Dr. Elkind has thoroughly revised this enormously successful book to debunk the notion of ”competence” tha thas children racing off to early enrichment programs, burdened by the pressure to ”achieve,” and coming home alone to an empty house after school. He sees ”sompetence” as a notion meant to rationalize the needs of adults, not to serve the genuine needs of kids, a notion that has fourth graders dieting to fit into designer jeans and children of divorce asked to be the confidants of their troubled parents.In updating this new edition, Dr. Elkind takes a detailed and up-to-the-minute look at the world of today's kids in terms of education, movies, television, rock & roll, and social trends, to see where the hyrrying occurs and why. And as before, he offers parents and teachers insight, advice, and hope for encouraging healthy development while protecting the joy and feedom of childhood.

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About the Author:

David Elkind is Professor of Child Development in the Eliot Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University. Through his writings, media appearances and lectures in the United States, Canada and abroad he is now recognized as one of the leading advocates for the preservation of childhood. Professor Elkind is the author of over a dozen other books including All Grown Up and No Place to Go, and Miseducation, Preschoolers at Risk.

From Library Journal:

These two books offer excellent perspectives on children, parents, and culture. Psychologist Apter (The Confident Child) argues that we've been hanging on to an idea that's all wrong that when children finish high school or college and land a job, they instantly become autonomous, responsible adults. This "myth of maturity," insists Apter, is harming our kids. These "thresholders" (ages 18-24) appear to function as adults (whether in a job or in school), but in reality they are often in turmoil, depressed, and overwhelmed by life. Apter claims that though parents have been taught that they should end support (emotional, financial, and practical) so that their children can be independent and self-reliant, this is the wrong approach. Each chapter addresses a theme (job stress, finances, college, emotions) with stories of thresholders Apter has interviewed followed by her advice to both parents and thresholders on how to deal with the situation. Myth shatters many common notions we've held for several decades, e.g., it links eating disorders to separation anxiety and lays to rest the idea that the l8-24s are confident, happy, and sexually active beings. Like Elkind, Apter knows that kids grow up fast (that is, they leave childhood) but that they aren't "grown up" at all. Elkind's classic The Hurried Child dates from 1981 and was revised in 1988; now it appears in a third edition. The basic premise remains the same: parents have pushed their children emotionally and intellectually too far, too fast. Today's parents think of their kids as Superkids, so competent and so mature that they need adults very little. Why? Because parents, who are building careers, blending families, or struggling as single parents, have no time for child rearing. Having a competent Superkid relieves these parents of guilt, but it places too much stress on the children themselves. This new edition is fully revised, with new sections on peer-group parent pressure, i.e., the pressure parents feel to go along with the Superkid image out of fear that their own children will lag behind, and on organized sports, the Internet, and software for infants. Like Apter's title, this powerful book is essential reading. Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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David Elkind
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