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Download Worried All the Time: Rediscovering the Joy in Parenthood in an Age of Anxiety epub

by David Anderegg

A much-needed book for parents about themselves.

In the tradition of Dr. Benjamin Spock, who in 1946 revolutionized parenting with the famous opening words of his classic child-rearing guide, "You know more than you think you know," child and family therapist David Anderegg reminds contemporary parents that "parenting is not rocket science. It's not even Chem 101." So why do those of us with children worry so much?

Whether they're thinking about school violence or getting a child into the right college, American moms and dads are a pretty worried crowd. Even though most American families are safer and healthier today than at any other time in our history, studies show that parental worrying has, in recent years, reached an all-time high. In Worried All the Time, Dr. Anderegg draws on social science research and his more than twenty years' experience as a therapist treating both parents and their children to clarify facts and fantasies about kids' lives today and the key issues that preoccupy parents. In the process, he offers a comforting and useful message: Parents are suffering needlessly -- and there are things they can do to take the edge off and focus on what their children really need.

In Worried All the Time, Dr. Anderegg identifies some of the causes of worry in contemporary American families, including fewer children, exaggerated fear of competition, and overblown media reports of children at risk. Anderegg calls this the "tabloidization of children" and critiques the fashion for media portrayals of "children in crisis." One at a time, he takes on the hot-button issues of our times:

the use of day care and nannies overexposure to media school violence overscheduling experimentation with drugs

and looks a little closer to see the facts and the fantasies beneath the hysteria. Calling himself a "crisis agnostic," Anderegg persuasively argues that needless worry has negative consequences for families and for our culture as a whole. The cardinal rules of good parenting -- moderation, empathy, and temperamental accommodation with one's child -- are simple, he says, and are not likely to be improved upon by the latest scientific findings. Anderegg helps parents to understand the difference between wise vigilance and potentially crippling anxiety and to gain the confidence to trust their own common sense.

Download Worried All the Time: Rediscovering the Joy in Parenthood in an Age of Anxiety epub
ISBN: 0743225686
ISBN13: 978-0743225687
Category: Fitness
Subcategory: Psychology & Counseling
Author: David Anderegg
Language: English
Publisher: Free Press; First Edition edition (April 29, 2003)
Pages: 240 pages
ePUB size: 1964 kb
FB2 size: 1610 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 110
Other Formats: doc azw mobi azw

I wish all parents would read this book! Both they and their children would be happier if they did. I am an older adult whose children are grown, and I see my younger friends with children making life much harder for themselves than it needs to be. I am sorry the negative term "overparenting" is in the title, because I want to buy a whole bunch to give away but am concerned it could be seen as a criticism.(Couldn't it just be: "Worried all the Time: Being a Parent in an Age of Anxiety"?) However the content of the book itself is incredibly generous and reassuring to parents who just want the best for their kids. Nowhere have I seen such an interface between the personal aspects of childrearing and the specific challenges presented by today's society, such as drugs, TV and video games, school violence, etc. Anderegg cuts through all the confusion generated by the conflicting messages the media sends us every day and is clear about the ways parents can choose to make their lives--and their children's--easier and more satisfying. "Worried all the Time" is also a compelling read for those without immediate childrearing interests because of Anderegg's perspective on our current culture.
Early Waffle
I've already decided that, when my blond-haired, blue-eyed, most adorable five-year-old in the world hits 12 or so, she's going into a Carmelite nunnery. I mentioned this to a friend of mine a few days ago, who pshawed, "Oh, but you'll miss her!" to which I said, "Yeah, but I'll be able to talk to her through a screen!" There are days when I really mean this, but only on those days that end in 'y'.
I never really thought I was the only parent who felt this way, and now that I've read WORRIED ALL THE TIME, I know I'm not. In fact, if David Anderegg's reports are to be believed, I'm probably at the low end of the anxiety scale. Anderegg reports that one dad was concerned about his son's self-esteem because the lad told a joke at school and nobody laughed. Dad actually went to the teacher to see how this could be remedied. My advice would have been to encourage sonny boy to find better material, or a better audience, and faghettaboutit. And that basically is what Anderegg's advice was, in addition to gently telling the parent to butt out.
Anderegg has some interesting ideas and raises some interesting points. He looks at over-scheduling activities (what I call "Camp Runamuck"), daycare centers, school shootings, the influence of the media, and the potential for drug and alcohol use among children. His basic message can be condensed to "Lighten up, Mom and Dad." While WORRIED ALL THE TIME isn't a "Don't Worry, Be Happy" book, Anderegg's conclusion is that things aren't quite as bad as they seem to be.
Anderegg is a soothing voice of reason, and I have recommended this book to a couple of sets of parents already, just because of the issues it raises. Anderegg isn't totally convincing, but he does an excellent job of discerning issues of concern and discussing them. He has a balanced take on daycare centers, raising some interesting points pro and con, and makes some obvious but overlooked comments about au pairs. Anderegg's evaluation of the media reveals that he does not know much about how popular entertainment finds its way to the market, but his conclusion as to how much --- or how little --- movies, television and music affect children seems, in the end, on the mark. Similarly, he avoids the hysteria that surrounded the wave of school shootings a couple of years ago, demonstrating fairly conclusively that the safest place for most children continues to be in school. Anderegg even gets into the biological whys and wherefores about why we are more worried and why the world seems to be a more dangerous place for children than it used to be.
Statistics and the like do not help when your child is one of them, obviously, and possibly this point of understanding isn't stressed enough in WORRIED ALL THE TIME. There is also not much that WORRIED ALL THE TIME has to offer to parents of less than modest economic means, who are raising their children in dire situations. There may ultimately be no answers that fit every situation. However, WORRIED ALL THE TIME at least makes the attempt to identify those areas that may be of concern, and those that may be a source of unnecessary aggravation.
--- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Considering that my youngest child just graduated from high school, it's too bad that Dr. Anderegg didn't write this book 15 years sooner! Nonetheless, his discussion of the emotional dynamics of the college application and college choice process was itself worth the price of admission. With that topic as well as others, Dr. Anderegg does a particularly good job of getting the reader to admit to sometimes acting on less than flattering motivations -- without feeling like a bad person! The payoff for these perhaps painful insights is that one pole of the emotional magnet that keeps many an inner conflict spinning can be thus be identified and - horray! -- turned off. His discussion of the three principles of good parenting - moderate firmness, empathy, and goodness of fit - was an enlightening roundup of theory and research, and enormously reassuring. Dr. Anderegg is especially skilled at distilling recent academic research -- for example, regarding drug use, school violence, adolescent sexual behavior, substitute child care -- and bringing that knowledge to bear on the day-to-day dilemmas and arguments that we all have with our kids, our spouses, and with ourselves. He does an especially good job of pointing out how a given statistic could be and often is interpreted to support opposing positions, and noting when the research data are firm and when the academic jury is still out. All of this is accomplished with a wonderful dry wit and a clear sense of fellowship with us parents.
I only wish I had had Dr. Anderegg whispering in my ear -- and felt his hand on my shoulder -- long before this as an antidote to the cultural messages screaming in my face through the media and the constant chattering of my fellow parents in the other ear. About the only downside to reading this book is that I have probably acquired more smile lines around the corners of my mouth (Anderegg does have a great sense of humor) - not a bad price to pay for losing some of the furrows in my brow.
Almost forgot: the Notes section at the end of the book that provides references to the sources of statistics and studies cited in the book is very cleverly done. In addition to the page number from the text a brief tag phrase (typically a few words or a phrase from the book) is also provided. This makes it very easy to find the primary source for the issue you want to pursue further -- a very nice touch. This Notes section is in addition to a more traditional index.