Publisher: Allen & Unwin
The parent screaming from the touchline at an eight-year-old to make an overlapping run; the pregnant mother playing Mozart to her unborn baby; the rigid schedule for babies, which develops into an agenda of activities for a young child - all these are familiar instances of hyper-parenting. With the pressure growing all the time for children to get into the best schools and universities, or to develop their nascent talents and become the next Tiger Woods or Williams sister, it has never been more difficult to be a child. In Carl Honore's brilliant follow-up to In Praise of Slow he makes an impassioned call for parents and teachers to allow children to grow up at a slower rate. Too often children today are burnt out by the time they reach their teens, thanks to a combination of tests and organised activities that fill their every waking moment. Where is the time to join their friends and play, or simply to sit and daydream? Surely there is something wrong with a parent who sends their child to see a psychotherapist after she comes third in a spelling bee in a New York school? Especially when that child is only six.By sifting through the latest scientific research and interviewing experts and families around the world, Carl Honore shows why parenting does not have to be a cross between a competitive sport and product development and why childhood does not have to be a rat race. Under Pressure will inspire readers to ease off, trust their instincts and find the natural balance between doing too much and too little for children. If we all managed that, perhaps our children would be allowed to have a childhood worthy of the name. Under Pressure shows how 'slow parenting' will benefit both the child and the parents, and ensure that we are developing a new generation of children healthy in body and mind.
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