I am curious how families in Palo Alto are "sheltering" their kids from the pressures of school, the competitive culture, etc. following up to my column in yesterday's Weekly on Mary Pipher, psychologist, anthropologist and best-selling author of "The Shelter of Each Other, Rebuilding Our Families," and "Reviving Ophelia." Web Link
Ambitious parents with several Ph.D.'s don't necessarily shelter their children any better than a less educated family, reminds Pipher.
The college-entrance frenzy is an example: "Ivy League has become a joke," says Pipher. "It's about brand-name recognition and marketing. It has nothing to do with thinking college through. It isn't a result of that kind of discussion."
She says parents should stop the nonsense early and talk to their kids by 8th grade. She role-plays what parents might say: "I know all your friends want to go to Harvard, but let's talk about the financial impact on our family if you go there, how much mom and dad would have to work and be away from home, how much pressure you will be under, what it will do to your friendships, your time to just read a book for fun."
What is your take on what Pipher has to say? What can our community do about it?