Magazine article Work & Family Life

There Are Ways to Avoid the 'Overachievement Trap'

Magazine article Work & Family Life

There Are Ways to Avoid the 'Overachievement Trap'

Article excerpt

What leads smart, loving and sensible parents to prep their toddler for an IQ test? Hire an expensive coach for their future Little Leaguer? Why have we become so competitive when it comes to our kids?

In her work with families, psychiatrist Elisabeth Guthrie has observed the toll on kids of "push parenting." By this she means over-orchestrating a child's life with "enriching activities," demanding high achievement in school and sports, and coercing a child to choose activities more to build a resume than to explore natural curiosity and personal interests.

No one really wants to push, says Dr. Guthrie, in her new book The Trouble with Perfect, but parents feel like they must-or their children will "fall short" in the normal competition of everyday life. But this is just a lot of hype, Dr. …

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