N4L 145: "The Collapse of Parenting" by Dr. Leonard Sax


Manage episode 265246800 series 1556353
By Janet Perry, Janet Perry: blogger, and Nonfiction book lover. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.


Dr. Leonard Sax, a premier child psychologist, peels back the veneer of successful families in his latest bestseller The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups. Originally intending to contrast American parents with those outside the U.S., Sax explains how and why bonds across generations have been broken. Today, American parents are confused about their role, resulting in status insecurity.

Having traveled and lectured frequently throughout Germany, Scotland, German-speaking Switzerland, and New Zealand, Dr. Sax extols the virtues of these foreign countries where the culture still supports strong families and parent-child bonds. American kids used to spend their weekends hanging out with grownups, being mentored, and learning values and skills. Now, they are now much less creative than they were 20 years ago and far more likely to be diagnosed with mental illness such as ADHD, anxiety, and depression.

Dr. Sax sends a clarion call to parents to renew their relationship with their children by asserting themselves as authority figures. He gives us a vision for how to better prepare our children to thrive. Parenting, after all, is for teaching children what matters not only now but in the future.


  • Having family dinners together
  • Limiting social media and access to devices, especially in the car and in the bedroom
  • Spending time together
  • Helping kids connect with more adults
  • Controlling the number of extracurricular activities
  • Vacationing as a family without friends
  • Teaching humility by showing interest in other people
  • Assigning chores to children
  • Installing parental monitoring apps
  • Talking and listening
  • Prioritizing character over grades


  • “The job of the parent is to teach self-control. To explain what is and is not acceptable. To establish boundaries and enforce consequences.”
  • “Kids need to value their parents’ opinion as their first scale of value, at least throughout childhood and adolescence.”
  • “There is one inescapable truth: you must teach by example…To become a better parent, you must become a better person.”

BUY The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups


Watch Andy Griffith episode “Opie, the Birdman”

BUY Gidget: The Complete Series

Read or watch To Kill a MockingbirdBUY To Kill a Mockingbird (Harperperennial Modern Classics) BUY To Kill a Mockingbird 50th Anniversary Edition


BUY Girls on the Edge: The Four Factors Driving the New Crisis for Girls--Sexual Identity, the Cyberbubble, Obsessions, Environmental Toxins

BUY Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men

BUY Why Gender Matters, Second Edition: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know About the Emerging Science of Sex Differences

Send your parenting questions directly to Dr. Sax on his website.

Connect with us!

Special thanks…

178 episodes