In Marin / READING LIST
MM: At what point in your psychology
career did you decide to make the issue of
your area of focus?
ML: About 15 years ago. The Price of Privilege
was written when I was still practicing in
Marin (I’m in San Francisco now) and I
had been practicing for around 20 years at
that point, and I was seeing this new kind of
patient. Usually in psychology you see people
who look depressed and act depressed, or look
anxious and act anxious — and that wasn’t
the case. I was increasingly seeing kids who
looked OK, and who came from the kind of
environment that we think of as protected
(concerned parents, good education), but they
weren’t OK. I like a challenge, and I really
didn’t understand what was happening, so
I set out to see what research there was,
and there was very little. So that turned into
The Price of Privilege.
MM: Do you find that helicopter/high-
pressure parenting occurs more in certain
demographics than in others?
ML: Sure. You know, if you’re working two
jobs and trying to put food on the table, you
don’t have the time to hover over your kids.
But let me be clear: I don’t think it’s only
MM: So the issue is a lot more normalized
upper–middle class parents. I think it has
drifted down to the majority of parents,
particularly because of this economy. People
either make a lot of money or don’t. No parent
wants their kid to be a loser. So, it’s the middle
class, it’s the upper–middle class, it’s the afflu-
ent — but it’s probably not people who are
struggling to get by.
now than it was a little more than a
ML: Yes. I think that it has become incredibly clear that this is a problem; I don’t have
to convince anybody anymore that there
are high rates of anxiety and depression,
because people see it all around them. My
question in this new book is why aren’t we
doing much about it?
MM: What’s one simple and really important daily change that a parent can make to
shift toward a healthier parenting style?
ML: My first takeaway is always talk less and
listen more. I have never had a kid in my office
who said, “My parents listen too much.” I
think that when our kid says they’re stressed,
or having a hard time managing it all, we don’t
have to come in and make them less anxious,
but we do really need to listen to what they’re
saying. CALIN VAN PARIS
Author Talk Ready or Not: Preparing Our Kids to
Thrive in an Uncertain and Rapidly
Changing World by Madeline Levine,
Harper, $28.99. From the changing
climate to the competition to get
into a good college, children know
that the greatest challenges are
ones their parents cannot protect them from. In The
Price of Privilege and Teach Your Children Well, clinician
Madeline Levine presented some of the limited views
that parents have to overcome in order to provide the
best environment for childhood development. She con-
tinues this work in Ready or Not, identifying the tools
that today’s children will need to become tomorrow’s
leaders and suggesting strategies to help them develop
those skills. Appearing at Book Passage Corte Madera
February 20, 7 p.m.
A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel
Allende, Ballantine Books, $28. In the
late 1930s, hundreds of thousands
were forced to flee Spain following
General Franco’s fascist takeover.
In Isabel Allende’s latest novel, a
pregnant widow and the brother
of her lost love find themselves among those exiles,
embarking on a ship chartered by Pablo Neruda
bound for Chile. Watching Europe descend into war
while facing adversities of their own, the unlikely
partners maintain hope that they may one day return
home to Spain and be exiles no longer. Appearing at
Angelico Hall, Dominican University February 3, 7 p.m.
An Old Man’s Game by Andy
Weinberger, Prospect Park Books, $16.
Retired private investigator Amos
Parisman is pulled back into the
game after a controversial celebrity
rabbi dies. Yet what begins as a
simple investigation soon spirals
into something more sinister as other members of
the community begin to die or disappear. With only
an ex-wrestler for company and protection, the
detective follows the thread into a tangle of treachery
and deception that makes for a suspenseful, engag-
ing mystery. Appearing at Book Passage Corte Madera
February 8, 1 p.m.
Local Page Turners
Reviews by Book Passage Events and
Marketing Assistant Bella Blofeld.
We sat down with Madeline
Levine, Ph.D., to discuss her new
book, Ready or Not: Preparing
Our Kids to Thrive in an Uncertain
and Rapidly Changing World.