Worried that your kids are falling behind, missing the opportunity to learn and excel? What parent doesn't? After all, it's natural for parents to want ... and push their children to have better lives. But is that very same act actually setting them up for a life of misery instead?
The battalions of mothers — and they're mostly mothers — managing their children's lives these days are talking about their anxiety. They see the frighteningly stressed children in "Race to Nowhere," a film in which teen after teen talks about how his or her life is all college prep and no play. They test their homes for hazards such as radon, and they provide lists of foods children may not have during playdates. [...]
Parents hire doulas, night nurses, nannies, camp consultants, batting coaches, SAT tutors. They try to be deeply attuned to every pimple in their child's life path and scurry to remove it. They fret they've destroyed their 4-year-old's future if she doesn't gain acceptance to the Center for Early Education in West Hollywood.
They fear predators, or that kids are having oral sex at bar mitzvah parties, or that only 10 colleges in the country are worth going to, said Wendy Mogel, author of "The Blessing of a Skinned Knee" and "The Blessing of a B Minus," at a recent talk to parents at the private Westside Neighborhood School. She knows of a school where the washcloths were red so that children who got cut were protected from the sight of blood.
College officials are calling students "teacups" and "crispies" — the former so overprotected they're fragile, the latter pushed so hard they're burned out, said Mogel, a clinical psychologist.
Mary MacVean wrote this interesting article over at the Los Angeles Times about how anxiety affects parents nowadays: Link (Illustration: Ellen Weinstein/LA Times)Previously on Neatorama: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior