Friday, May 14, 2010

Are We Raising the Homogenized Generation?

When is the packaging of a student too much? I am wondering about that more and more. I understand putting the best foot forward, playing to strengths, enabling colleges to understand what thoughtful, probing little gems our teens are through astoundingly perceptive essays. But the more I read, the scarier the process seems. Are the parents to blame for a good part of the pressure our teens feel in high school?

I'm going to buy Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2006. In an interview in The New York Times around the time it was published, one of the authors, Marilee Jones, said, "We are raising children to please adults, and that's unprecedented. We're training them to put their focus outside of themselves, to make them measure up to everybody else's standards, and that's a huge mistake." She added, "The solution is to give kids more freedom, teach them how to create, set up systems for them to fail and to bounce back.”

It may be time for some serious introspection.

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