Ties That Stress

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 1994 - Family & Relationships - 270 pages
What has happened to the American family in the last few decades? And what are these changes doing to our children? A renowned child psychologist and author of several influential works on child development, David Elkind has devoted his career to these urgent questions. This eloquent book - the culmination of his inquiry - puts together all the pieces, puzzling facts, and conflicting accounts, and shows us as never before what the American family has become. Today's postmodern family is under enormous stress. And as a result, the needs of hurried children have been sacrificed to the needs of their harried parents. Childhood innocence has been supplanted by the illusion of childhood competence; teenage immaturity has given way to pseudo-sophistication; and parental intuition has been traded in for a mechanical reliance on technique. These changes and a host of others have undermined the well-being of children and adolescents. From Freud to Friedan to Foucault, Elkind traces the roots of the postmodern family back to the failure of the modern nuclear family and its supporting institutions - the media, the so-called helping professions, the legal system, and the schools - to meet the needs of parents. The new postmodern family is more flexible, more permeable, more urbane, but also out of balance because it fails to meet the needs of children. Treated like miniature adults, today's children and adolescents go without the protection and security they need, while their once-sheltered baby-boomer parents, facing new economic pressures for which they are unprepared, secretly wonder why they've never really felt like grown-ups. But all is not bleak. Elkind finds evidence of an emerging vitalfamily that melds the best of the modern and postmodern, one in which the needs of all family members are held in a dynamic, if delicate, balance. Many books have decried the decline in family values, the negative impact of divorce, the increase in single-mother families, and impov
 

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Ties that stress: the new family imbalance

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Well known for The Hurried Child (Addison-Wesley, 1988), Elkind focuses on the family unit in his latest publication. Supporting his arguments with a well-documented study of the family, Elkind (child ... Read full review

Contents

I
1
III
15
IV
38
V
63
VI
91
VII
118
VIII
145
IX
170
X
188
XI
209
XII
233
XIII
255
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About the author (1994)

David Elkind, Professor of Child Study at Tufts University, is the author of many books, including The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon.

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