Parents who pressure create 'disconnected' generation
August 01, 2006

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (UPI) -- California psychologist Madeline Levine has said parents who pressure their children have created an "extremely unhappy, disconnected and passive" generation.

Levine, a mother of three who has worked as a clinical psychologist for 25 years, said in her new book, The Price of Privilege, that a large number of children with over-involved parents suffer from depression, anxiety and substance abuse, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

"Kids aren't having the experiences that are mandatory for healthy child development -- and that's a period of time to be left alone, to figure out who you are, to experiment with different things, to fail, and to develop a repertoire of responses to challenge," Levine told a recent question and answer session. "They have no interior life. It's all about performance -- and performance is not real learning."

The psychologist said the problems are especially widespread in affluent families.

"Parents have this notion that their child is supposed to be a certain way, because performance is so highly valued in affluent communities. Parental love has become contingent on performance, which is very damaging."