Friday, January 28, 2011

Happiness = Achievement? Yet Another Way the Tiger Mother Got It All Wrong

We have admired the science-based parenting advice of Christine Carter for some time now, and her response to the "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" is a must-read. Her take that Amy Chua's focus on achievement is at the expense of resiliency is spot-on. Here's an excerpt from her article:

"Chua is prescribing life motivated by perfectionism—fear of failure, fear of disappointment.  Not only is this a vicious form of unhappiness, but research by Carol Dweck and many others shows that kids who are not allowed to make mistakes don’t develop the resilience or grit they need later in life to overcome challenges, or pick themselves up when they do fail. Perfectionists are far more likely to be depressed, anxious, and in college, they are more likely to commit suicide."

Ms. Carter is a Ph.D, a sociologist and happiness expert at U.C. Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. She will be in Washington, D.C. to lead a workshop on positive parenting on February 26th.

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