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Too Safe for Their Own Good: How Risk and…
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Too Safe for Their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Teens Thrive (2007)

by Michael Ungar

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Too Safe For Their Own Good presents an opinion that I have expressed for a long time - namely, that parents today wrap their children in cotton wool, and that this is not good for them. Michael Ungar argues his case well, presenting statistics and case studies to support his view. We cannot protect our children from everything in life, and attempting to do so denies them the opportunity to grow into the wonderful people they are meant to be. ( )
  seldombites | Jan 9, 2010 |
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"Why, Jon, why?" his mother asked. "Why is it so hard to be like the rest of the flock, Jon? Why can't you leave low flying to the pelicans, the albatross? Why don't you eat? Son, you're bone and feathers!"

"I don't mind being bone and feathers, Mom. I just want to know what I can do in the air and what I can't, that's all. I just want to know."

"See here, Jonathan," said his father, not unkindly. "Winter isn't far away. Boats will be few, and the surface fish will be swimming deep. If you must study, then study food, and how to get it. This flying business is all very good, but you can't eat a glide, you know. Don't you forget that the reason you fly is to eat."

Jonathan nodded obediently. For the next few days he tried to behave like the other gulls; he really tried, screeching and fighting with the flock around the piers and fishing boats, diving on scraps of fish and bread. But he couldn't make it work.

It's all so pointless, he thought, deliberately dropping a hard-won anchovy to a hungry old gull chasing him. I could be spending all this time learning to fly. There's so much to learn!

----Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
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"'Ungar's thought-provoking book is both wise and practical. All of us parents, therapists and educators who work with adolescents will benefit from his ideas on what teenagers require for optimal growth. This is a paradigm-shifting book.' - Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia. While our kids are safer now than they have ever been, we are constantly fearful for them. We drive them everywhere, organise their time, and cocoon them from every imaginable danger, assuming we're doing the right thing. Even when they are teenagers we continue to manage their lives, and unwittingly prevent their development. In this ground-breaking new book, internationally renowned family therapist and social worker Michael Ungar shows why our constant need to keep our kids safe often puts them in harm's way. By protecting them from failure and disappointment, challenge and responsibility, many of our children are missing out on the benefits that come with manageable amounts of risk. Accessible, inspiring and practical, Too Safe for Their Own Good? helps concerned parents set appropriate limits and provides concrete suggestions for allowing children the chance to experience the rites of passage that will help them become competent, happy, thriving adults. Internationally renowned expert on resilience in at-risk youth and father of two, Michael Unger runs a private practice for children and adults in mental health and correctional settings. He is a professor at the School of Social Work at Dalhousie University and leader of the International Resilience Project."--Provided by publisher.… (more)

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