Dissecting the weird social fatalism of our child-rearing manuals.
How Children Succeed:
Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
by Paul Tough
$24.99 List Price
It’s no coincidence that growing alarm over America’s decreasing global influence corresponds with a growing hysteria over our child-rearing practices. Believing that “the children are our future,” as Whitney Houston so helpfully put it, is not all that different from believing in, say, stock futures. The monitors of stock and early-developmental portfolios certainly face the same basic question: How big a chunk are you willing to lop off your bank account, your sanity, and your soul in order to ensure that the future looks half as shiny and promising as you expect it to?
Parenting tomes, though, have a funny way of sidestepping this dilemma. The authors of child-rearing manuals all seem to assume that you, the striving parent, have endless stores of wealth, energy, and passion for solving the most
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