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Too Happy! Too Perfect! Too Fragile! – Part 4/4

Lori Gottlieb follows Amy Chua with Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University that has written extensively about narcissism and self-esteem.  Twenge is also the co-author of Epidemic. Twenge says, when ego-boosting parents exclaim “Great Job!”, the child learned to feel that everything he does is special … he never gets negative feedback on his performance … They grew up in a bubble, so they get out into the real world and they start to feel lost and helpless.


“Season 2 – Episode 9 – Does anyone let their kids play outside anymore? Cross the street? Do their own homework? Tie their own shoe? How do we prepare our kids for the real world while keeping them in a protective bubble? Jen and Barb talk to Dr. Wendy Mogel, nationally known clinical psychologist and author of the New York Times best selling parenting book, “The Blessing of a Skinned Knee” about need to empower ourselves as Mothers to loosen the leash and let our kids fall, so they learn how to get up and are prepared for the future.”

Wendy Mogel told Gottlieb over the phone, “Please let them (kids) be devastated at age 6 and not have their first devastation be in college!” and “parents who protect their kids from accurate feedback teach them that they deserve special treatment.”

In fact, Twenge says, “Research shows that much better predictors of live fulfillment and success are perseverance, resiliency, and reality-testing—qualities that people need so they can navigate the day-to-day,” and many kids aren’t learning these skills anymore.

Near the conclusion of the Atlantic piece, Gottlieb said, “by trying  so hard to provide the perfectly happy childhood, we’re just making it harder for our kids to actually grow up.”

Return to Too Happy! Too Perfect! Too Fragile! – Part 3 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

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Too Happy! Too Perfect! Too Fragile! – Part 2/4

Ann Hulbert, the author of Raising America: Experts, Parents, and a Century of Advice About Children says, there’s always been a tension among the various recommended parenting styles—the bonders versus the disciplinarians, the child-centered versus the parent-centered…

Following Gretchen Rubin, Lori Gottlieb quotes Barry Schwartz, a professor of social theory at Swarthmore College, who says, “happiness as a goal is a recipe for disaster.”


“Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz’s estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.”

Then Paul Bohn, a psychiatrist at UCLA believes, “Many parents will do anything to avoid having their kids experience even mild discomfort, anxiety, or disappointment…with the result that when, as adults, they experience the normal frustrations of life, they think something must be terribly wrong.

Dan Kindlon, the author of Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age, says, If kids can’t experience painful feelings, they won’t develop “psychological immunity”. He also said, “We (parents) don’t set limits, because we want our kids to like us at every moment, even though it is better for them if sometimes they can’t stand us.”

Continued on June 28, 2011 in Too Happy! Too Perfect! Too Fragile! – Part 3 or return to Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Too Happy! Too Perfect! Too Fragile! – Part 1/4

At the end of What, Me Worry about Debt! I’ve got self-esteem protecting me, I mentioned Lori Gottlieb’s piece in The Atlantic magazine, “How to Land Your Kid in Therapy” and said I’d be writing about what she had to say.  This is it.

It is always good to know someting about the experts we read or hear, so who is Lori Gottlieb? Well, she graduated from Stanford Medical School, is an author, a journalist, a columnist and a psychotherapist. For the longer version, click on the first link in this paragraph.

Gottlieb mentions Gretchen Rubin, the author of New York Times best-sellerThe Happiness Project“, and Gottlieb says, “Nowadays, it’s not enough to be happy—if you can be even happier. The American Dream and the pursuit of happiness have morphed from a quest for general contentment to the idea that you must be happy at all times and in every way.”

The best way to summarize Gottlieb’s long piece (12 pages printed) in “The Atlantic” is to quote a few of the experts she mentions. In fact, I boiled about 8,000 words to less than 1,000 and divided that into four parts spread over several days.

In addition, I’ve added videos to support Gottlieb’s message.

We start with Donald Winnicott, the influential English pediatrician and child psychiatrist, who said you don’t have to be a perfect mother to raise a well-adjusted child.

Continued on June 27, 2011 in Too Happy! Too Perfect! Too Fragile! – Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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What, Me Worry about Debt! – I’ve got self-esteem protecting me – Part 3/3

What looming disaster has the self-esteem movement created?

Rachel Dwyer of Ohio State University says, “By age 28, those students may be realizing that they overestimated how much money they were going to earn in their jobs. When they took out the loans, they may have thought they would pay off their debts easily, and it is turning out that it is not as easy as they had hoped.”

According to The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid, these debts range from $10,000 to more than $100,000.  In fact, a total of more than $1.7 trillion in federal education loans have been made since beginning of the loan programs.


Link to the entire program of Your Life, Your Money

In addition, the estimated total private student loans outstanding as of June 30, 2009 were approximately 157.8 billion.  The overall total education loans outstanding, federal and private, was about $763.4 billion in 2009.

When I wrote this post, the Student Loan Debt Clock said that number now stood at more than $900 billion dollars.

If we go back to the beginning of this series of posts, you will recall that many of these young adults also carry credit cards beyond the student loans and undergraduates are carrying record-high credit card balances. Source: Credit Cards.com

The average (mean) balance grew to $3,173, the highest in the years the study has been conducted. Twenty-one percent of undergraduates had balances of between $3,000 and $7,000, also up from the last study.

In addition, close to one-fifth of seniors carried balances greater than $7,000, while the average college graduate has nearly $20,000 in credit card debt. (Source: Sallie Mae, “How Undergraduate Students Use Credit Cards,” April 2009)

The results of this study has revealed that the movement to boost vanity among our children for the last five decades has created a debt crises that many young adults may struggle for decades to pay off while sacrificing a better lifestyle than their parents may have experienced.

Even more disturbing is a piece by Lori Gottlieb in the Atlantic, How to Land Your Kid in Therapy, which deals with why the obsession with our children’s (self-esteem) happiness may be dooming them with unhappy adulthoods. I will write summary of this long article in another post (Gottlieb’s Atlantic piece ran 12 pages printed).

Return to What, Me Worry about Debt! – Part 2 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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