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Worried All the Time : Overparenting in an…

Worried All the Time : Overparenting in an Age of Anxiety and How to Stop…

by David Anderegg

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Every now and then I like to read something about parenting. I like to hear about the current wisdom, get new ideas, and think about how and why I do things, so I can do them better. Let's face it, all of us that are parents want to do a good job. We want our children to grow up happy and healthy. We want them to be the best people they can be, the best version of themselves, grow into everything they can be. And we want to make sure that what we, as parents, do helps rather than hinders them on their paths. Sometimes we just want to not screw them up too much!

This book is about the fact that modern parents worry a whole lot more about their children, and their parenting, than previous generations ever did. We seem to feel overwhelmed by all the options, all the advice, and feel anxious as a result. The aim of this book is to help parents to understand where their worries come from, decide if they are rational or not, and stop worrying so much!

What I found most interesting about this book was its explanation of where a lot of our worries as parents come from. Often we project our own feelings onto our kids. If we feel stressed, rushed and overworked, we worry that our kids are overscheduled and don't have enough down time. Maybe it is really us that needs the down time! Also, often we remember our own feelings as a child, and act according to those feelings, rather than our children's. For instance, if we experienced a lot of loneliness as a child, we are anxious to make sure that our children have lots of friends and never feel lonely. If our children seem to be having difficulties with friendships, or seem to play alone a lot, we rush to assume that they are terribly unhappy (like we were), rather than find out what they really think or feel.

The other thing I found interesting, was the notion that as kids get older, they need a certain amount of "benign neglect". In other words, they don't need us to hover over their every move, thought and feeling. Being watched all the time will cause children to become very self-conscious, and very good at censoring themselves in front of their children. Also, children need to know that their parents have another hobby other than them!

Definitely an interesting read. ( )
  fionareadersrr | Jun 1, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743225686, Hardcover)

Psychologist David Anderegg has written a fascinating book about the worries that wake parents up at night. His confrontational premise is, "Worry reveals very much about the parent and very little about the child." Rather than view a child through the prism of a parent's anxiety, Anderegg focuses parents on their child's unique temperament. He surveys our culture and child-development literature, asking searching, nettlesome questions. For example, why do Americans feel so invaded by their own cultural products? Among his targets are parents who read too much and those who view their children's college acceptance as a parental final exam. Each chapter outlines how parents may be overreacting to issues such as school violence and offers insightful ideas for parents to try at home. Anderegg is at his best in a brilliant chapter about drugs. Here, he explores the unresolved authority issues of boomer parents who are grieving about their current "uncool" state. Although the subject of sexuality is curiously underplayed, Anderegg's prickly ideas and practical suggestions will gain this book a wide, well-deserved readership. --Barbara Mackoff

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:46 -0400)

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Presents advice for worried parents coping with child rearing issues, including day care, drug use, and education, suggesting therapy methods through a behavioral approach.

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