The Trouble with Perfect: How Parents Can Avoid the Overachievement Trap and Still Raise Successful Children.

Guthrie, Elisabeth, M.D. & Kathy Matthews. The Trouble with Perfect: How Parents Can Avoid the Overachievement Trap and Still Raise Successful Children. Broadway. 2002. c.256p. ISBN 0-7679-0751-5. $22.95.

Parents often worry about how much they should pressure their kids to succeed; the Trouble with Perfect is a meandering work that leaves readers searching for an overall framework. Guthrie (clinical director, Learning Diagnostic Ctr. at Blythedale Children’s Hosp., Valhalla, NY) and writer Matthews seem to probe topics only partially instead of drawing conclusions. Although they identify seven pressures that American parents feel (e.g., that money equals happiness) and present some useful insights (i.e., “Some parents just can’t tell the difference between their needs and those of their children”), these analyses are not coherently woven together. At best, an optional purchase; libraries might instead consider Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein’s practical Raising Resilient Children. T

This review appeared in Library Journal. 127.6 (Apr. 1, 2002): p132; the galley was shredded on May 16, 2012.

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