The Pampered Child Syndrome: How to Recognize It, How to Manage It, and How to Avoid It: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

The Pampered Child Syndrome: How to Recognize It, How to Manage It, and How to Avoid It: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

The Pampered Child Syndrome: How to Recognize It, How to Manage It, and How to Avoid It: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

The Pampered Child Syndrome: How to Recognize It, How to Manage It, and How to Avoid It: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

Synopsis

The Pampered Child Syndrome is a welcome source of advice for parents or professionals working with children who are given all the love and care they need, yet who remain unhappy, anxious or angry.This book argues that we live in a society where real progress has been made in the development of child-centered parenting, education and care, but that this cultural shift has produced a generation of children who are entitled to the same rights as adults but not ready to accept grown-up responsibilities - children who are "loved too much". Dr. Maggie Mamen describes common characteristics of the pampered child, and offers practical advice on how to strike an effective balance between caring for and nurturing children while at the same time maintaining authority and respect.The Pampered Child Syndrome also tackles the difficult issue of child mental health. Drawing on her professional expertise as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Maggie Mamen outlines how the "symptoms" of the pampered child can be similar to those used to diagnose many common emotional, behavioral, and psychiatric disorders. She flags up the danger of misdiagnosis and asserts the critical importance of maintaining a distinction, offering clear guidance on identifying genuine disorders.This book will offer valuable support and encouragement to parents, teachers, and health and social care professionals who want to raise children who are confident, happy, healthy, and socially aware.

Excerpt

Is it truly possible for us to love our children too much? Is love really blind? Can we be so besotted with our sons and daughters that we become oblivious to the unreasonableness of their burgeoning demands on our time and energy their relentless pressure for material goods, and their unacceptable behaviors both inside and outside the home? Do we adore and indulge them so much that our blinkers block the signs of incipient mental health disorders or behavior problems that can potentially exclude them from social acceptance, school, or perhaps even stable relationships?

We need only to look around us - in supermarkets, doctors’ waiting rooms, public places, school classrooms - to recognize that this is indeed not only possible, but a fact of life, if not somewhat endemic. It is, it seems, a sign of the times, a reflection of the significant sociological pendulum swing from adult-driven parenting in the first half of the twentieth century to the current child-driven philosophies that have contributed to the construction of a teetering pedestal from which our children are now in danger of falling.

We live in a child-centered society where children’s wants and demands are increasingly being given priority over marital or family harmony, financial considerations, parental sanity, common courtesy, quiet enjoyment, respect, and common sense. With the encouragement of many professionals, including some psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, pediatricians, counselors, and others, along with the enthusiastic support of the media, manufacturers, and marketers, some children are becoming empowered to the point where parents feel helpless and ineffective. Many can no longer guarantee their children the basic building blocks of physical and mental health - sleep, nutrition, exercise, fresh air- not because they do not understand their importance, or have the ability to provide for them. Rather, they hesitate because the child does not agree, or because they are afraid of damaging a child’s self-esteem. Saying “no” is interpreted by many parents as being “mean,” “strict,” or overly authoritarian, since they have been led to believe that imposing anything on children that children do not want to do or that makes children unhappy or uncomfortable is tantamount to abuse.

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