A wake-up call for a national crisis in parenting--and a deeply helpful book for those who want to see their own behaviors as parents with the greatest possible clarity.Harvard psychologist RichardWeissbourd argues incisively that parents--not peers, not television--are the primary shapers of their children's moral lives. And yet, it is parents' lack of self-awareness and confused priorities that are dangerously undermining children's development.
Through the author's own original field research, including hundreds of rich, revealing conversations with children, parents, teachers, and coaches, a surprising picture emerges.
Parents' intense focus on their children's happiness is turning many children into self-involved, fragile conformists.The suddenly widespread desire of parents to be closer to their children--a heartening trend in many ways--often undercuts kids'morality.Our fixation with being great parents--and our need for our children to reflect that greatness--can actually make them feel ashamed for failing to measure up. Finally, parents' interactions with coaches and teachers--and coaches' and teachers' interactions with children--are critical arenas for nurturing, or eroding, children's moral lives.
Weissbourd's ultimately compassionate message--based on compelling new research--is that the intense, crisis-filled, and profoundly joyous process of raising a child can be a powerful force for our own moral development.