A recent Atlantic article by Lori Gottlieb, “How to Land Your Kid in Therapy,” goes by a different hook on the magazine’s cover: “How the Cult of Self-Esteem is Ruining our Kids.”
It’s summer so I’ll keep it brief: fear-driven pitches sell books and magazines but do little to help parents do better with children. The end.
But… if you’ve got a couple of extra minutes we can drill a little deeper. Gottlieb traces the ever-swinging parenting-styles pendulum that proves about as helpful as an Edgar Allen Poe accompaniment to the pit.
The experts tell us that we’re messing up our kids, and then we embrace this year’s new-new panacea. We’re giving too many choices. We’re telling kids they are special when they are not. We are failing to say no and set limits. We are failing to give our kids space to separate from us and learn from a little adversity.