How not to fail our children

Anyone looking for a last-minute Christmas gift for those notoriously hard-to-shop-for friends and family members should consider picking up a copy of Anthony Esolen’s latest book, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child.

Tony, a regular contributor at IC, has written many beautiful reflections here that comment thoughtfully on the sorry state of modern-day childhood and education, and his latest book looks to expand on the best of all those columns. From the blurb:

We’re extinguishing the minds (and souls) of our children.

Play dates, “helicopter parenting,” No Child Left Behind, video games, political correctness: these and other insidious trends in child rearing and education are now the hallmarks of childhood. As author Anthony Esolen demonstrates in this elegantly written, often wickedly funny new book, almost everything we are doing to children now constricts their imaginations, usually to serve the ulterior motives of the constrictors.

 

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child takes square aim at these accelerating trends, while offering parents—and children—hopeful alternatives. Esolen shows how imagination is snuffed out at practically every turn: in the rearing of children almost exclusively indoors; in the flattening of love to sex education, and sex education to prurience and hygiene; in the loss of traditional childhood games; in the refusal to allow children to organize themselves into teams; in the effacing of the glorious differences between the sexes; in the dismissal of the power of memory, which creates the worst of all possible worlds in school—drudgery without even the merit of imparting facts; in the strict separation of the child’s world from the adult’s; and in the denial of the transcendent, which places a low ceiling on the child’s developing spirit and mind.

My copy just came in, and I can’t wait to dive into it and drink up Tony’s beautiful prose. Don’t miss your opportunity to do the same — pick up a copy here.

Margaret Cabaniss

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Margaret Cabaniss is the former managing editor of Crisis Magazine. She joined Crisis in 2002 after graduating from the University of the South with a degree in English Literature and currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She now blogs at SlowMama.com.

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