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Under Pressure: Putting the Child Back in Childhood [Paperback]

Carl Honore
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 3 2009 0676978436 978-0676978438 Reprint
From the bestselling author of In Praise of Slow comes a fascinating and urgent look at childhood today and how we are raising a generation of overprogrammed, overachieving, exhausted children.

For generations of children, growing up was a pretty simple business: you went to school for a few hours a day, you dabbled in hobbies and sports, and the rest of the time you played. Or maybe you just day-dreamed. Carl Honoré explains how our modern approach to children is backfiring: our kids are fatter, more myopic, more injured, more depressed and more medicated than any previous generation. By using children as a way to relive our own lives, or as a way to make up for our personal shortcomings, we have destroyed the magic and innocence of childhood. Under Pressure is not a parenting manual but a call to action; we must do better for our children.

Using fascinating anecdotes about obsessive parents (including one about the father of a tennis player who drugged all his child’s opponents), solid research and personal insight, Honoré explains the over-parenting phenomenon, dispels myths and rallies for change in clear and persuasive prose. Topics explored include the use of technology as babysitting, how enrolling children in hours of extracurriculars every week can do more harm than good and how we underestimate the resilience of our children at the expense of their freedom.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Under Pressure: Putting the Child Back in Childhood + In Praise of Slow: How a Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed
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Product Description


"Under Pressure is a Godsend! Full of common sense advice that will help parents and children everywhere return to sanity, peace, and health."
—Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of The Wisdom of Menopause

"Carl Honore’s Under Pressure is must-read book for parents, educators and all those concerned with the health and well-being of children. Written with warmth, wit and incisive intelligence, Honore presents a clear and compelling argument why our current high- pressure, high-stakes culture is sucking the joy out of childhood and leaving our children ill-equipped for even the most mundane challenges of life. Solutions and alternatives are thankfully provided."
—Madeline Levine, Ph.D, Clinical psychologist and author of The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kid

Under Pressure can be viewed as a wake-up call to parents and educators, as well as a solid summary of how children are being raised in the 21st century. Honoré covers a lot of territory, investigating academic testing and homework issues, extracurricular activities and sports, consumerism, and safety issues. . . . This is not a parenting book or a how-to manual, but rather a comprehensive look at the state of the childhood nation.” –Quill & Quire

Praise for In Praise of Slow:

“The No Logo of its age. . . . An epiphany for those of us who have forgotten how to look forward to things or to enjoy the moment when it arrives.”
The Herald (UK)

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Carl Honoré is a Canadian writer living in London, England. His journalism has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Observer and the Economist. His first book, In Praise of Slow, was published in twenty-eight languages and was an international bestseller.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! May 15 2008
By JennX
Everyone who has anything to do with children (parents, grandparents, teachers, aunts and uncles etc.) should read this book. Fabulously readable, global in reach, relevant, timely, and fun. It's a non-fiction page-turner. You will be gasping and sharing tidbits with friends.
Borrow it, buy it, steal it- read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Dec 24 2008
Carl Honore's book, "Under Pressure" should be compulsory reading for
every parent who has children under age 18. It is the best book I read
recently on the topic of over/under education, describing in great
details all the errors made by parents, by teachers and by school
programs that could be remedied by implementing the steps recommended by
Honore. The book is a jewel!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Jan. 21 2010
I started reading as a worried parent, worried that I was going to end up being even more worried that I worried too much. Instead, I found a warm, sensible book that helped me understand better how to balance exposing my child to opportunities and enjoying our family time and his childhood.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay Aug. 22 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am still reading this one - so can't say truthfully if it's all good or not; but the portion I have covered so far makes a lot of sense.
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