A comprehensive breakdown of where parents have gone awry and how they can get back on track to teach virtue and character to their children.
Family physician and psychologist Sax (Girls on the Edge: The Four Factors Driving the New Crisis for Girls—Sexual Identity, the Cyberbubble, Obsessions, Environmental Toxins, 2010, etc.) has seen countless patients and spent considerable time interviewing children and parents worldwide to find out why American children, in particular, have shown a decrease in achievement levels and psychological health. The author traces the issues back to the parents and places the blame for the steady slide toward bad behavior, disrespect toward elders, and a general inability to cope with controversy on the shoulders of too-permissive parents. Using interviews and data from his practice, Sax provides readers with real-time stories of children who throw temper tantrums, pick the school they wish to attend based on friendships rather than the effectiveness of the teachers, and give up after receiving one bad grade. Sax delves into the problems surrounding medicating children in the United States, particularly for bipolar disorder and ADHD, when sleep deprivation might be the real culprit. He also examines levels of obesity in the U.S., the overuse of video games, and why children who turn to their peers for advice are not receiving the appropriate instructions. After thoroughly analyzing where parents have gone wrong in the past 30-plus years, Sax provides a series of easy-to-follow solutions that help bring parents and children back to the same page, working toward a healthier, more respectful, and conscientious attitude. “It is the parent’s responsibility not only to feed, clothe, and shelter the child,” writes the author, “but also to acculturate the child, to instill a sense of virtue and a longing for integrity, and to teach the meaning of life according to the parent’s best understanding.”
With the author’s solid advice, parents have a good shot at achieving these goals.