*(photo credit below)
Lori Gottlieb has done it again.
You may remember that name from the wildly controversial article she wrote for The Atlantic called Marry Him! The Case For Settling later expanded into a book. I actually wrote about it long, long ago.
Now Gottlieb is back with an equally buzz-building article (with an equally grabby title): How To Land Your Kid In Therapy.
It's a great and fascinating read with plenty of perspective. Unfortunately it's hard to have perspective when reading it because the article is essentially about how to prevent your kids from becoming us - us being this generation of 20-somethings who, according to the article, are seeking counseling in surprisingly high numbers for surprisingly minor issues and, "just generally felt a sense of emptiness or lack of purpose..."
"Here I was, seeing the flesh-and-blood results of the kind of parenting that my peers and I were trying to practice with our own kids, precisely so that they wouldn’t end up on a therapist’s couch one day. We were running ourselves ragged in a herculean effort to do right by our kids—yet what seemed like grown-up versions of them were sitting in our offices, saying they felt empty, confused, and anxious. Back in graduate school, the clinical focus had always been on how the lack of parental attunement affects the child. It never occurred to any of us to ask, what if the parents are too attuned? What happens to those kids?"
I really recommend reading the article in full. I really don't recommend passing the article along to your parents. I'm still on the fence about my feelings on this one, but I hope to gather some thoughts for a reaction post tomorrow. Feel free to share your reactions in comments.
*cartoon by LOU BROOKS, featured in The Atlantic.