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Parenting for Authentic Success

by Madeline Levine

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-182474-6
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Practical advice for raising well-rounded and successful children.

Psychologist, author and co-founder of Challenge Success, Levine (The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids, 2006, etc.) draws on 30 years of counseling experience and current research to debunk contemporary thoughts on raising children. Beginning in preschool, parents and teachers push their students to obtain good grades and high SAT scores and participate in numerous extracurricular activities, with the end goal of attending a prestigious college. While these are still worthwhile endeavors, Levine offers readers hands-on solutions to "optimize conditions so that a far greater number of children can actually be successful without the accompanying high levels of distress that have become so prevalent.” Today, there is too much emphasis on driving children toward an often unrealistic and narrow definition of achievement, creating a generation of young adults at "high risk for emotional, psychological, and academic problems.” Through the use of scenarios from her own experience of raising three sons, as well as instances from her clinical practice, Levine provides examples of common situations encountered while raising children and suggests new solutions to handle these situations. The author’s approach includes unconditional love, empathy, stimulating challenges, a safe environment that encourages curiosity, and discipline when necessary. With these tools, Levine believes all children are capable of leading "satisfying, meaningful, and authentically successful lives" without the accompanying stress, panic and exhaustion commonly seen in adolescents.

A rethinking of the term "success" provides new insight on how to raise today's youth.