The Collapse of Parenting

The Collapse of Parenting

How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-ups ; the Three Things You Must Do to Help your Child or Teen Become A Fulfilled Adult

Book - 2015
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In The Collapse of Parenting , physician, psychologist, and internationally acclaimed author Leonard Sax presents data documenting a dramatic decline in the achievement and psychological health of American children. Sax argues that rising levels of obesity, depression, and anxiety among young people--as well as the explosion in prescribing psychiatric medications to kids--can all be traced to parents letting their kids call the shots.

Many parents are afraid of seeming too dictatorial and end up abdicating their authority rather than taking a stand with their own children. If kids refuse to eat anything green and demand pizza instead, some parents give in, inadvertently raising children who are more likely to become obese. If children are given smartphones and allowed to spend the bulk of their free time texting, playing video games, and surfing the Internet, they become increasingly reliant on peers and the media for guidance on how to live, rather than getting such guidance at home. And if they won't sit still in class or listen to adults, they're often prescribed medication, a quick fix that actually undermines their self-control. In short, Sax argues, parents are failing to prioritize the parent-child relationship and are allowing a child-peer dynamic to take precedence. The result is children who have no absolute standard of right and wrong, who lack discipline, and who look to their peers and the Internet for direction, instead of looking to their parents.

But there is hope. Sax shows how parents can help their kids by reasserting their authority--by limiting time with screens, by encouraging better habits at the dinner table and at bedtime, and by teaching humility and perspective. Drawing on more than twenty-five years of experience as a family physician and psychologist, along with hundreds of interviews with children, parents, and teachers across the United States and around the world, Sax offers a blueprint parents can use to refresh and renew their relationships with their children to help their children thrive in an increasingly complicated world.
Publisher: New York :, Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group,, [2015]
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780465048977
Branch Call Number: 306.874 Sax
Characteristics: 287 pages ; 22 cm


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Nov 28, 2018

This book really hits the nail on the head on how to improve parenting skills and attitude. We need to act more like coaches instead of cheerleaders and provide constructive feedback on how our kids are really doing, so that they they can handle feedback in the real world.

Sep 12, 2018

Kids don't come with manuals, but this is a great read for parents that struggle with how to raise good citizens and the breakdown of those skills in our current society. You will be agreeing with much of what this book has to say. If you are not feeling it personally, you are seeing it around you.

Aug 21, 2018

My Top 5 Takeaways from this great book:

1. Teach your child people skills
2. Stop sedating your kids with powerful psychiatric drugs
3. Spend time with your child
4. Teach your kids humility
5. Educate desire in your child

Top 5 Quotes:

1. “The job of the parent is to teach self-control. To explain what is and what is not acceptable. To establish boundaries and enforce consequences”

2. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. In other words, if you compel a child to behave virtuously, then when he is an adult he will continue to behave virtuously.”

3. “Train up children in the way they should go, and when they grow up and move away from home, you will have improved the odds.”

4. “People often believe that character causes action, but when it comes to producing moral children, we need to remember that action also shapes character. - Adam Grant

5. The average teenager spends 70 hours/week in front of a screen

Below, in a nutshell, are his best points:

-A shift today towards “soft parenting”
-The average teenager spends 70 hours/week in front of a screen
-Don’t praise smarts (or identity)— praise behavior
-More important today: Peers, sports, school, school activities. Less important: Parents.
-Teach your kids people skills
-Spend time with your child. Enjoy them.
-Sedating difficult kids with powerful psychiatric drugs is wrong
-It’s easier to give out a pill than to impose consequences for bad behavior
-“Your son has ADHD!” - shifts the burden of responsibility from the parent to the doctor
-This triad of diagnoses is BS: Autism spectrum / ADHD / Bi-polar
-Today’s students are fragile teacups. It does take much for them to give up and retreat.
-Today’s kids have ingratitude seasoned with contempt
-The question mark in your statements to your kids undermines your authority.
-“Let kids decide” - is harmful
-Your job as a parent is to educate desire
-Change your parenting? Nah! He has a brain disorder!
-There's a transfer of authority today from parents over to the kids
-Failure of parents to assert their authority
-The power differential today is gone:
-Parents don’t teach social skills
-TV shows mock parents and undermine the importance of parents

Apr 18, 2018

Oft-repeated, but it's a must-read for any new or long-time parents. It counters all the nonsensical "parents as friends" modern parenting with cold hard facts and solid writing. I got a lot from this book and so will you.

Apr 06, 2017

Leonard Sax's book is a no holds barred account of what is wrong with parenting today, and the consequent culture of disrespect among kids. More importantly, in North America medication is becoming increasingly the go to solution for bad behaviour and Dr. Sax suggests there is a lot of over-medication and unneeded prescribing of powerful drugs - uncalled for in most cases. In addition to pointing out the causes of bad behaviour Dr. Sax gives a prescription for correcting this and a means for parents to retake control.

ArapahoeStaff8 Nov 29, 2016

Instead of asking "what harm can it do?", try asking "what good can it do?" when deciding if a child or an adult should make a decision. Sax tells of the danger of children left in charge of their futures with no guidance from parents or other adults. Children are raising each other and suffering for it.

May 18, 2016

Well written and documented book with many examples about what Sax considers the right decisions to make when raising your children. I guess it helps that I agree mostly with what he says. He does back up his recommendations using case studies of large groups, as well as examples of many families from his own practice as an MD. I liked that some of his examples were pretty much the same issues in my family of five children.

Apr 30, 2016

i just half way through this and very interesting, i am a grandma just reading this for something to do , i do have kids and one teenage grandson , ,if yu can get a hold of this i really recommend it , i already have told sevral parents of which have teens , and afew of them have allready gone out and bought it

Mar 22, 2016

This book is very interesting. It's easy to follow and he has a good point. Basically, Sax's argument is that the "culture of disrespect" so prevalent among children and teens is caused by bad parenting. He covers a lot of subjects: mental disorders and diagnoses, obesity, fragility and more. I recommend it if you are a parent or caregiver, or even if you just want something thought-provoking to read.

Mar 12, 2016

I found this book thoughtful and full of good ideas for me to ponder. I found a majority of Sax's information backed up by data, research, and fully supported. I would recommend this read to parents!

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