Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Price of Privilege – Part 4 of 4


In this last section, Levine focuses on what parents can do to help themselves in order to help their children, and again, she uses anecdotes from her work, research, and her own life, family and circumstance as a basis for her writing. She devotes the last chapter of this part of her book to mothers.

Here are some notable quotes from the entire section:
  • Affluent communities emphasize competition and extrinsic markers of success such as high grades, trophies, and admission to prestigious schools.
  • Mothers become overly dependent on their children for emotional support and comfort.
  • Excessive pressure, isolation from adults, inappropriate intrusion, controlling behavior, lax discipline—have all found their home in affluent communities.
  • If we hope to have our children who are capable of being accountable for their behavior, then we must model accountability.
  • Maladaptive perfectionism is driven by an intense need to avoid failure and appear flawless.
  • Affluent communities suffer from both lack of cohesion and a lack of values that stress the needs of the community.
  • This book stresses the value of authenticity in leading an independent, productive, loving life.
  • Most children at most times in their lives, feel closer to their mothers than to their fathers. So it should come as no surprise that research confirms that a child’s best shot at healthy emotional development depends on his own mother’s emotional health.
  • As we are able to feel generally loved, valued, and connected, so will our children. Children thrive best when their mothers take care of themselves as well as their children.
  • We never fool our children, regardless of how convinced we are that “the children don’t know a thing.”
  • Reaching out means we give, but it also means we get.
Levine wisely concludes the book by stating “Make certain that your children know every day how much they are loved, not for their grades, honors, or awards but for their striving to be independent, capable, good, and loving people.”

The green highlights throughout the four posts represent comments made in the book that are akin to the Montessori philosophy and the red highlights are not akin to the Montessori philosophy.

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