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While we are waiting to start, please write down the gifts and talents of your children. Gifts and Talents: Helping Your Child Find Fulfillment and Avoid Emptiness. Wednesday, March 6, 2013. America’s New At Risk Child. Why kids who have so much feel so empty

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gifts and talents helping your child find fulfillment and avoid emptiness

Gifts and Talents: Helping Your Child Find Fulfillment and Avoid Emptiness

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

america s new at risk child
America’s New At Risk Child
  • Why kids who have so much feel so empty
  • Why we can’t afford to trivialize the problems of privileged kids
  • “In recent years, numerous studies have shown that bright, charming, seemingly confident and socially skilled teenagers from affluent, loving families are experiencing epidemic rates of depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders—rates higher than in any other socioeconomic group of American adolescents. Materialism, pressure to achieve, perfectionism, and disconnection are combining to create a perfect storm that is devastating children of privilege and their parents alike.”-Madeline Levine
the scope of the problem
The Scope of the Problem
  • Mental Health Epidemic
    • America’s new at risk youth are from affluent, well-educated families.
    • In spite of economic advantages, they experience the highest rates of depression, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, somatic complaints, and unhappiness.
    • Teens are more likely to be drawn to other teens with poor values when they are experiencing high levels of stress, either within or outside the family.
money and materialism
Money and Materialism
  • Money is not the problem. It is a culture of affluence that embraces materialism, values performance over learning and external motivation over internal motivation.
  • Materialism sucks the life out of purpose and altruism as kids become increasingly self-centered and indifferent to the needs of others
  • When we try to buy our kids off with material goods, it tells them we are feeling overwhelmed and ineffective.
how much is too much
How much is too much?
  • Known risk factors for gambling include: money problems, recent loss, loneliness and chronic boredom, lack of direction or limited hobbies, using gambling to cope with negative feelings, mental health problems, and more.
  • Giving kids too much money can enable high-risk behaviors, allowing them the financial resources for gambling, alcohol, etc.
healthy sense of self
Healthy Sense of Self
  • Kids with healthy selves are ready and able to “own” their lives
  • Kids with healthy selves can control their impulses: “I’m the boss of me”
  • Kids with healthy selves can be generous and loving
  • Kids with healthy selves are good architects of their “internal” homes
  • Knowing what really matters and what doesn’t
parenting for autonomy
Parenting for autonomy

How To Be a Mentoring Parent

what does overindulged mean
What does “overindulged” mean?

Parents with wealth or false wealth that gives to their children instead of mentoring

Parents with no wealth may compensate by giving too much permission too soon

d iscipline and control the tough job of being the bad cop
Discipline and control: the tough job of being the “bad” cop
  • Firmness: being clear about your authority
  • Monitoring: “Do you know where your children are?”
  • Containment: letting your kids know when you mean business
  • Flexibility: knowing when to skip the showdown
  • It’s easier when we start early but it’s never too late!
  • The difference between being “in control” and being “controlling”
if you re not willing to be the bad cop
If you're not willing to be the “bad” cop…
  • What’s that about for you?
    • Bucking the tide: if everyone is doing it that doesn’t make it right
    • Holding ourselves accountable
    • Handling the isolation that makes us vulnerable to being bullied
how we connect makes all the difference
How we connect makes all the difference
  • Know your parenting style
    • Do as you’re told: The Authoritarian Parent
    • Do your own thing: The Permissive Parent
    • We can work it out: The Authoritative Parent
  • Cultivate warmth to protect emotional development
    • Good warmth
    • Bad Warmth
    • Understanding praise
  • Avoid damage inflicted by criticism and rejection
perks of being of service
Perks of Being of Service
  • Harrison Klein about the “Law of Deservedness” – “we need meaning and purpose in our life…and it comes from helping others.”
  • Empathy
  • Using privilege to give back to others
the poison of perfectionism
The Poison of Perfectionism
  • The desire to achieve perfection usually begins in childhood with programming by parents who directly or indirectly reinforce the belief that the child is not good enough, and, never will be.
  • Today, children and adults are constantly being brainwashed into perfectionism by society – media, advertising and peers.

Perfectionism leads to:


criticism and judgment

substance abuse


anxiety and

overall unhappiness and



gift and talents
Gift and Talents
  • When kids are feeling the pressure, how can we encourage them to live into their gifts and talents rather than:
    • succumbing to severe anxiety or depression
    • engaging in high risk behaviors to self-medicate?
  • That you must recognize, acknowledge and use the gifts you have been given or you lose even the ones you got. Use it or lose it!
  • “What are my gifts? What are my talents? And how am I going to use those gifts for His glory, And for the love of those around me – at home, Here at School, at Camp, on your travel teams, in your off campus shows or projects.”
working on the real me
Working on the “Real Me”
  • What will you do if your kid gets a DUI, when it’s time to write a college essay, or faces a coach that’s not giving him/her enough playing time?
  • Teens can and will make mistakes, suffer the consequences, and dig deep within themselves to find solutions and alternatives.
  • Buying our kids out of trouble: When we mitigate natural consequences, we deprive them of one of life’s most important life lessons - we are held accountable for our actions.
  • Parents need to support their kids dizzying profusion of selves, but also need to promote values of hard work, patience, and persistence-the kinds of self-management skills that are necessary for psychological, interpersonal, and academic development.
the real me
The “Real Me”
  • A child’s emotional development is aided by parents who understand that kids at different ages have different capacities and different needs.
  • Affluent parents have a different challenge…well documented tendency to pressure children to perform at highest levels, pressured and fast-paced lifestyle results in physical and emotional exhaustion, thoughtful discipline decisions impossible.
  • Connection and discipline exist along a continuum
tips and tricks
Tips and Tricks
  • Be more concerned with who your children ARE than what they DO.
  • Consider the age appropriate response to the situation.
  • Let them fall while you can still help them back up.
  • Focus on warmth and emotional closeness.
  • Eat together.
suggested resources
Suggested Resources
  • Fogarty, James. “Overindulged: A Parent’s Guide to Mentoring.”
  • Levine, Madeline. “The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating A Generation Of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids.”
  • Problem Gambling Project , CAMH
  • Wanis, Patrick. “”