Parents warned against the dangers of ‘hothousing’
Hyper-Parenting: Are you Hurting Your Child By Trying Too Hard?
It raises concerns over the levels of extra curricula activities parents are pushing onto their already exhausted children, in a bid to turn them into high achievers.
US child psychiatrist Dr Alvin Rosenfeld has co-written a new book called ‘Hyper-Parenting: Are you Hurting Your Child By Trying Too Hard? It raises concerns over the levels of extra curricula activities parents are pushing onto their already exhausted children, in a bid to turn them into high achievers.
According to Dr Rosenfeld’s book, children can suffer severe mental and physical side effects including ulcers and stressed as they try to fulfil their parents’ aspirations for them. Dr Rosenfeld wants to see parents concentrate on creating a loving and stable family environment where there is plenty of fun and relaxation, and not a permanent emphasis on striving.
As he pointed our in a recent interview with the Daily Mail, ‘Parents have been led to believe that they can somehow programme their children for success if only the do all the right things. It’s a very fascistic, winner-takes-all society and its making a lot of parents – and children – very unhappy.’
Dr Rosenfeld’s views are fully endorsed by Michael Howe, professor of psychology at Exeter University and who is on record as stating, ‘Sometimes parents feel excited about the idea of developing their child’s one particular skill and subject them to a hothouse routine. But giving them special intensive experiences could be depriving them of certain other kinds of experiences which they need to have a happy and successful life’.
Professor Howe, who wrote the book ‘Genius Explained’ went on to point out, ‘Children also need good social skills and to be able to get on with other people. Parents would be wise to remember that life is not a sprint. How well a person turns out depends just as much on whether they re self confident and feel good and are at ease with themselves as it does with particular skills and expertise’.
He is in full agreement with Dr Rosenfeld in that, while children can benefit from the addition stimulation extra activities and classes often bring, there is always the danger they can interpret the intensity and sense of competition as pressure, and suffer accordingly.