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The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  604 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
With the first edition of The Hurried Child, David Elkind emerged as the voice of parenting reason, calling our attention to the crippling effects of hurrying our children through life. He showed that by blurring the boundaries of what is age appropriate, by expecting--or imposing--too much too soon, we force our kids to grow up too fast, to mimic adult sophistication whil
Paperback, 25th Anniversary Edition, 244 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Da Capo Lifelong Books (first published 1981)
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Dec 30, 2008 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when it was first published and read it again when
this updated version was published.

The point of the book is how we hurry our children into adulthood
and this topic is one that should really be explored more in schools
and in the media. Children need to be children and this book
should be a must read for all parents and school districts.
Adriane Devries
David Elkind, Ph. D., describes the Hurried Child as one who is forced to grow up too fast too soon. In American society, which highly values competition and “the earlier the better” mentality, the condition is pandemic, caused by the chronic exploitation of children’s talents and time for purposes other than their direct benefit, by a combination of pressures from parents, commercial media, and school.

Though much Hurrying can be defended as an earnest effort by parents to ensure a good future
Solady Batterjee
I can't say that I am with or against the ideas of this book, the thing that I would like to share is that I beleive that parents should have an inner scale to when and how much should they encaurage their children and when to stop.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna Davis
Folks, don't put mascara on your twelve-year-old, & don't buy it for her, either.

Elkind makes a lot of really strong points here. This book is more geared toward those who are raising children (parent/ many, many grandparents raising kids these days!) than toward educators, who follow the school or district's policies regardless...

The last chapter draws a lot of extremely conservative conclusions with which I would not care to be associated, and this is why the final star is d
Roger Voth
Dec 01, 2010 Roger Voth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Please, don't use your children to fulfill your own wishes. Be their leader, their confidant, their best cheer-leader, and the one who loves them deeply from the heart. Teach all you can, challenge them to take responsibility, and realize that they are a unique beautiful person with the possibility of great things wrapped up in fragile paper. They are a gift you are given to care for, not a possession or resource that you can use.
Robyn Larson
Apr 25, 2008 Robyn Larson rated it really liked it
I read this book for one of my developmental classes and I love it. Every parent or will be parent should read this. It talks about how we as Americans are trying to get our children to grow up too fast and the consequences we as a nation are facing. Over scheduling and the pressure to do better than everyone else are just some of the topics discussed. I didn't think I would enjoy it but once I opened the cover, it was hard to stop.
Apr 24, 2008 Lacey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for my middle childhood class. It was a huge eye opener about how parents are hurrying their children to grow up and expecting to much of them I would reccomend this book for anyone who has young children.
Dianna Caley
Extremely negative about working mothers and single mothers. The author had some good things to say, but it was hard to get past his clearly biased anecdotal rants against homes that did not resemble the Donna reed show.
Jun 11, 2013 Aayaam is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
Gave up on this because it was a bit vivid for my taste. If you can deal with a work that hits close to home, I recommend it to you.

UPDATE: Continuing it after newfound motivation.
Sep 06, 2015 Missmath144 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I only read a few chapters, as the arguments therein are not valid nor statistically correct (based on one man's observations and a few isolated facts from which he draws very narrow, hasty conclusions). He seems to believe that if a child is encouraged to do anything at a young age, he's being pushed. From my point of view, young children can have a great deal of fun learning when they are young. Learning may sometimes be pushed upon kids, but more often learning is just a fun part of a family' ...more
Liss Capello
Yet another book on parenting I expected to largely agree with, so in a way this was preaching to the parenting choir. However, I don't think this is one I would turn to or recommend as a favorite. It's essentially a compilation on ideas about child psychology and how 'hurrying' (the author's word for anything in which children of any age are allowed, encouraged, or forced to act in age-inappropriate ways, be they social, mental, physical, emotional) can be damaging to it. The lengthy chapters o ...more
Jun 25, 2010 Tanya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-books
I agree with letting kids be kids, the main premise of the book. It's definitely challenging as I feel in the minority in my community. My daughters also feel the pressure to grow up too quickly as there is often contrast between what I'm allowing them to do and what their peers are being allowed to do. Since this book addresses the internet, but not the rest of the electronics that are now available, the book really felt dated.

p. 21 "Children need time to grow, to learn, and to develop. To trea
Jun 14, 2011 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i empathize a lot and realize that I can't keep hurring my kids from one thing to the next...sadly only to page 152 0f 220 but will re-read the entire book again

best things:

pg. 21 "all children have, vis-a-vis adults, special needs- intellectrual, social, and emotional. children do not learn, think or feel in the same way as adults."
xii "it seems a new obscenity is permitted on the television screen. Increasingly, nudity and salacious behavior are broadcase in the early evening hours...."
25) 3 p
Christine Bourgeois
This book was first written in 1981 with several revised editions since. I liked Elkind's book on children's play better. This one at times seems very opinionated, and somewhat judgmental to say the least when he describes women going to work and the impact on children...

Overall, parents have a contract with children and when we hurry them we break that contract and the underlying bond of trust. Hurrying happens by having them watch inappropriate content on TV or asking them to care for themselv
Aug 27, 2013 JaNel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
I really enjoyed the summaries and explanation of some of the major child psychology--Freud, Erikson, etc. Though what he said about Montessori did not really match the impression I got when I read The Absorbent Mind. Another of my favorites. I'll definitely look up some of his other titles. Though I will put more effort this time into getting the most current edition.

p.25 "people who are stressed--like those in ill health are absorbed with themselves...the demands on them, their hydra-headed an
David Elkind's overall premise is that our society forces children to grow up to fast in many, many different ways. He calls this hurrying. Basically, all hurrying leads to stress, and that stress has many different ways it can affect a child. The bulk of the book discusses how different aspects of family life and culture create these hurried situations and how children respond. Very little time is spend on how to work against hurrying in comparison to the length of the book.

One of my biggest pr
Mar 06, 2015 Cassandra rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, parenting
Doom and gloom. Almost the entire book listed ways that parents, media, and educators try to hurry children into adulthood and how this negatively affects children. But then he only spends 18 pages at the very end of the book talking about ways that we can nurture children instead of hurry them. Most of the suggestions boiled down to - make sure you have a solid marriage so that you don't end up divorced. Mom should stay home with the children. Guard media intake. Don't put the children into org ...more
Jul 12, 2012 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting, 2012
Eh. I thought I would really like this book, but it was pretty dry. I didn't feel like I learned that much, just different ways in which children are hurried. A lot of the reasons kids are hurried is because of both parents working (which is not my case) or because of parents divorcing (which is also not my case).

I think the author tried to make the point that it's okay to have two working parents, but he didn't do a very good job of it. It still seemed like all the daycare and different babysi
Marianne Mullen
May 15, 2016 Marianne Mullen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Great book for explaining why childhood needs to be preserved and why we need to stop rushing children to grow up so fast. It's a bit outdated but the overall message is powerful. It took me forever to read this but I'm glad I did.
Mar 12, 2016 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is both discouraging and encouraging for the parent who is trying to slow down the world a bit for their children. Discouraging because it's so difficult to do and it definitely forces you to swim upstream; encouraging because research shows that when you stick to it, it's better for kids' emotions, performance in school, connections to their families, etc.

It gets somewhat redundant, but the general idea is to protect childhood for as long as possible - once it's gone, you never get i
Excellent. I wish all American's parents would read this book and find confidence in saying 'no' to so many of the activities children are pushed into too early.
Sarah K
Mar 22, 2016 Sarah K marked it as to-read
This is a book I've seen on many a friend's shelf and heard it mentioned at various speakers. Would like to try it sometime, when I have time :)
Mar 08, 2012 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was okay. I agree with his premise wholeheartedly, but the book itself bothered me in its utter lack of editing. There were several typos and subheading problems and at one point he calls Destiny's Child, Destiny Girls. There was a bunch of unprofessional stuff like that that rubbed me the wrong way. I want to know the ideas of a professional who has done his research, but a majority of the book was either unprofessional opinion, or the research of other child development gurus (Piaget ...more
Mar 10, 2009 Mom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had started work. I felt terrible about that choice but there was no other way we could make it. I had to take some classes to update my teaching certificate. This was one of the books that they suggested to read.

I learned that when parents get too busy and stressed, the children become stereotyped instead of individuals.

Being aware of this as a possibility for me, I tryed really hard to be a great mommy.

There were other great lessons about girls looking for boyfriends because they were look
Jan 22, 2009 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're struggling with pressures from yourself, your family, school or society to push your children to do more, be more and think more this book will help you feel good about your decision to slow down and create balance for your child and family and let your kids be kids rather than expecting them to be more than they are perhaps capable (or willing) of doing. He also gives ideas on how to do just that. First written over 20 years ago, it has been updated and is still very relevant today if ...more
Jul 08, 2015 Heidi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good things to think about. The overall concepts were interesting, even if some sections were less engaging.
Jared Anderson
Jan 10, 2013 Jared Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elkind causes the reader to reflect on our parenting and society today. Actually, since this book was first written in the 80s, it scares me to think how much worse it could be today. This book examines how children are being asked to grow up faster while still being in a child's body and brain. We dress our children like adults, worry them with adult problems, thrust them into situations where they have to feed themselves and put themselves to bed, but then we tell them to "act their age." Elki ...more
Audrey Jenkins
Feb 28, 2016 Audrey Jenkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Insightful, and the trend has not reversed.
Well described challenges. Lucidly presented.
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David Elkind is an American child psychologist and author. His groundbreaking books The Hurried Child and Miseducation informed early childhood education professionals of the possible dangers of "pushing down" the elementary curriculum into the very early years of a child's life. By doing so, he argued, teachers and parents alike could lapse into developmentally inappropriate instructional and lea ...more
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