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Rich Kid Issues

Fast Company 10.24.21 “What I learned from teaching the children of the 1%” by Blythe Grossberg based on her book “Left My Homework in the Hamptons: What I Learned Teaching the Children of the One Percent” “Blythe Grossberg has a doctoral degree in psychology, worked for many years at private schools in Boston and New York city, and has written several books on learning differences.”

Read Fast Company or Blythe’s book

Summary offered by 2244

“Five Key Insights”

“Kids are way too overscheduled”

Not just the 1% kids but it’s maybe more extreme for them. For example, “squash lessons at 5 a.m. before school, and after school, and even travel around the country or world to play squash.” Idea being that participation in sports like these will eventually add to a leg-up getting admitted to “competitive colleges.”

“Kids have no time for ‘idea flow’”

Idea flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi found getting “into states of flow” helps one relax and develop our creative side. “Flow is unconscious [the idea] of letting your mind drift.” Being overscheduled Mihaly believes keeps one from being your full “selves psychologically or intellectually.” As adults we remember experiencing epiphanies when letting our mind wander when we might be taking a shower or doing something else that’s unfocused.

“Affluent kids suffer from a unique set of problems”

Experts say affluent kids may “suffer from issues [surprisingly] that resemble those faced by kids who do not have enough to eat or a safe shelter.” Of course there is no equivalency in these issues-real struggle versus unintended fallout from too much resource. Rich kids may “struggle with substance abuse...anxiety, depression, and the feeling of worthlessness”-stemming from having “parents [that] have done everything for them” and that “they [themselves] have nothing to offer [on their own].” Even more surprising “affluence is in itself recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a risk factor for youth.” Risk comes on the shoulders of having “pressure on achievement over emotional connection” that kids need from their parents.

“There are commonalities in parenting regardless of wealth status”

Blythe comments that regardless of socioeconomic status, parents fear that “the world of tomorrow will be a zero-sum situation”-is one succeeds another fails. This fear drives parents to focus on achievement.

“What can be done about this situation, really?”

“Kids grow from experiencing other people’s way of life” and this is often limited for rich kids attending private schools or the best of public schools populated by elite kids and a few “kids who have earned scholarships.” Blythe mentions private school kids that benefited, in one example, from helping those seeking to pass citizenship tests. The point being that kids can expand their horizons by getting “out in their communities.” Blythe adds that rich kids, middle and upper class, “are many sports that it starts to erode family time, time when they need to be reading or working at other things-like just relaxing, hanging out with friends, and getting to know their community...we need to dismantle the type of sports industry that makes a lot of money for the people who run it and is not valuable for kids.”


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