Cover image for The hurried child : growing up too fast too soon
The hurried child : growing up too fast too soon
Elkind, David, 1931-
Personal Author:
Third edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Perseus Pub., [2001]

Physical Description:
xxiv, 244 pages ; 21 cm
Reading Level:
1300 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF723.S75 E44 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Parenting

On Order



With the first two editions of this landmark work, Dr. David Elkind eloquently called our attention to the dangers of exposing our children to overwhelming pressures, pressures that can lead to a wide range of childhood and teenage crises. Internationally recognized as the voice of reason and compassion, Dr. Elkind showed that in blurring the boundaries of what is age appropriate, by expecting-or imposing-too much too soon, we force our kids to grow up far too fast.In the two decades since this groundbreaking book first appeared, we have compounded the problem, inadvertently stepping up the assault on childhood in the media, in schools, and at home. Taking a detailed, up-to-the-minute look at the world of today's children and teens in terms of the Internet, classroom culture, school violence, movies, television, and a growing societal incivility, Dr. Elkind shows a whole new generation of parents where hurrying occurs and why and what we can do about it.

Author Notes

David Elkind , Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus at Tufts University and the author of a dozen books, including The Hurried Child and All Grown Up and No Place to Go . He lives outside of Boston and on Cape Cod.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

These two books offer excellent perspectives on children, parents, and culture. Psychologist Apter (The Confident Child) argues that we've been hanging on to an idea that's all wrong that when children finish high school or college and land a job, they instantly become autonomous, responsible adults. This "myth of maturity," insists Apter, is harming our kids. These "thresholders" (ages 18-24) appear to function as adults (whether in a job or in school), but in reality they are often in turmoil, depressed, and overwhelmed by life. Apter claims that though parents have been taught that they should end support (emotional, financial, and practical) so that their children can be independent and self-reliant, this is the wrong approach. Each chapter addresses a theme (job stress, finances, college, emotions) with stories of thresholders Apter has interviewed followed by her advice to both parents and thresholders on how to deal with the situation. Myth shatters many common notions we've held for several decades, e.g., it links eating disorders to separation anxiety and lays to rest the idea that the l8-24s are confident, happy, and sexually active beings. Like Elkind, Apter knows that kids grow up fast (that is, they leave childhood) but that they aren't "grown up" at all. Elkind's classic The Hurried Child dates from 1981 and was revised in 1988; now it appears in a third edition. The basic premise remains the same: parents have pushed their children emotionally and intellectually too far, too fast. Today's parents think of their kids as Superkids, so competent and so mature that they need adults very little. Why? Because parents, who are building careers, blending families, or struggling as single parents, have no time for child rearing. Having a competent Superkid relieves these parents of guilt, but it places too much stress on the children themselves. This new edition is fully revised, with new sections on peer-group parent pressure, i.e., the pressure parents feel to go along with the Superkid image out of fear that their own children will lag behind, and on organized sports, the Internet, and software for infants. Like Apter's title, this powerful book is essential reading. Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Third Editionp. ix
Preface to the Revised Editionp. xv
Part I Our Hurried Children
1 Our Hurried Childrenp. 3
2 The Dynamics of Hurrying: Parentsp. 22
3 The Dynamics of Hurrying: Schoolsp. 49
4 The Dynamics of Hurrying: The Mediap. 78
5 The Dynamics of Hurrying: Lapware, Brain Research, and the Internetp. 101
Part II Hurried Children: Stressed Children
6 Growing Up Slowlyp. 119
7 Learning to Be Socialp. 141
8 Hurried Children: Stressed Childrenp. 163
9 How Children React to Stressp. 186
10 Helping Hurried Childrenp. 204
Notesp. 223
Indexp. 231