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The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon
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The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  501 ratings  ·  72 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
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Paperback, 25th Anniversary Edition, 244 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Da Capo Lifelong Books (first published 1981)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,267)
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Diane
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.
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.
Tara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna
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/guardians...so 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
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Roger Voth
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
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.
Lacey
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.
Aayaam
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.
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
Tanya
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
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Heather
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
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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
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JaNel
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
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jacky
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
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Katie
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
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Ashley
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
Mom
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
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Brenda
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
Jared Anderson
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
Clivemichael Justice
Well described challenges. Lucidly presented.
Rachel
A landmark book for its time but it's a bit dated now, despite the 3rd edition... still a good reminder that a) children are children and need to be given responsibility incrementally and according to their ability and b) once again, consistancy is one of the foundational principles of parenting, treating children as adults in some ways but children in others leads to a frustration, confusion, and anger for both parties involved. Promotes the idea of contractual agreements (whether stated or not ...more
Kirstin
This man writes academic literature the way I want to read it. Nothing specifically pertinent to my situation, for which I am thankful, but definitely food for thought.
Elizabeth
There is a great deal of human development research that backs up Elkind's claims regarding the undue pressure that Americans tend to put on their children. This kind of pressure and forcing young, forming brains to create pathways before they are ready can actually make your child less creative and likely a less successful adult who may have trouble seeing outside of the box. This book gives the later years--pre teen to teenage--mistakes that we continue to make. Good stuff.
Laura Buechler
This book wasn't always enjoyable or easy to read, but it was very informative and interesting. While I wouldn't say I agree with every point Elkind makes, he definitely got me thinking about childhood, parenthood, and the societal images of both. I think this is a great book for parents and educators to investigate. It would be really interesting to read in a book club or discussion group format. I will be working to apply my learning to the way I parent my daughter.
Shannon
David Elkind has a good point and backs it up in many reasonable ways. We should be watching out for children and their stress levels. We should be treating them as children and not adults. Some of his blame/responsibility seems biased, however. He implies quite frequently that mothers working may be a part of the issue. Other gender and racial slights come up as well. If you can find another, more open author on the same issue, I think you should.
Elizabeth
I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I really liked the author's basic conclusion - that over-zealous and stressed parents, traditional schools, and American popular culture hurry children to act like adults and don't respect their developmental needs. However, I wanted more discussion of what these developmental needs are and what kind of practices honor them, and less polemic about how bad single moms are for kids... Thought-provoking, though.
Desiree
While I agree that hurrying children is a problem and does add unneeded stress, I feel that the author is very biased and judgmental in his views and that this is written more for a conservative family. The basic premis is valid and what you should take away from this book is that childhood is a part of life, not just a preparation for life. Kids should be able to enjoy this stage without being pushed through and pressured to be more adult-like.
Kim
Really interesting. Some of it a little dated, but overall full of wonderful insight and good reasons to STOP rushing our children to "grow up." Schools rush children, the media is rushing our children, technology rushes children, parents rush our children. Let them BE children! It's such a small period of time. Really... you will have more creative and more imaginative adults if only they are allowed to play and be children first.
Marta
I thought this book was great. I did not read every word but will keep it on my shelf as a great reference. I do believe that our American culture hurries children. It started out with really good historical facts about our country, school systems and communities. It was good to read about why and how things have evolved in the way that they have. It also had a great list of stresses in a childs life and how to deal with them.
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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
More about David Elkind...
Power of Play: How Spontaneous, Imaginative Activities Lead to Happier, Healthier Children Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk All Grown Up and No Place to Go: Teenagers in Crisis Ties That Stress: The New Family Imbalance A Sympathetic Understanding of the Child: Birth to Sixteen

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