Examining Alfie Kohn's Myth of the Spoiled Child

If you're well-versed in current parenting and education discourse, you know that Alfie Kohn is America's gadfly on these topics, consistently challenging the popular views with solid evidence to the contrary. His latest book, The Myth of the Spoiled Child, responds to the prevailing media stance that paints modern parents as both over-involved and indulgent, and children as narcissistic and underprepared for adulthood.

Don't let Kohn's latest title mislead you--this book isn't a lengthy argument for permissive parenting, which Kohn addressed and exchanged for a healthier approach in his book Unconditional Parenting (which I reviewed here). Instead, The Myth of the Spoiled Child is a point-by-point response to common but baseless social criticism of modern American parents and their children. Though Kohn occasionally comes off as peeved and retaliatory towards the researchers he considers biased, he's highly convincing as he meticulously discredits prevalent assumptions about falling school standards, pervasive narcissism, and the overly touted benefits of self-discipline and failure.

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