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Parenting Great Kids Podcast - Episode 231

When Achievement Culture Becomes Toxic to Our Children

with guest Jennifer Wallace

Hosted by Dr. Meg Meeker | March 28, 2024 | 40:52 min.

In this episode of The Parenting Great Kids podcast, Dr. Meg Meeker chats with Jennifer Wallace, an award-winning journalist and social commentator, about the impact of achievement culture on children. Jennifer shares her insights from a national survey of parents, revealing the pressure parents feel to ensure their children’s academic success, and the toll it takes on their own wellbeing. The conversation delves into the challenges faced by parents in navigating societal expectations and the detrimental effects of achievement culture on children’s mental health. Jennifer’s findings serve as a wake-up call to parents, urging them to prioritize their children’s wellbeing and connection over performance pressures.

Today's Guest(s)


Jennifer Wallace

Jennifer Wallace is an award-winning journalist and author of the New York Times bestselling book Never Enough: When Achievement Pressure Becomes Toxic – and What We Can Do About It.  She is a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, and appears on television to discuss her articles and other hot topics in the news. After graduating Harvard College, Jennifer began her career in television at “60 Minutes,” where she worked as a journalist for many years. She lives in New York City with her husband and their three children. 


We all want our kids to achieve and do well in life. However, if we’re not careful, we can tie our worth to accomplishments and cause high levels of stress and anxiety. Jennifer’s well-researched insights and actionable tips empowers families to reframe failure and embrace imperfection in an achievement-focused world.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

Manage Parental Pressure and Protect Your Child’s Mental Health: Best way to reduce stress is to prioritize open communication with your kids to foster a healthy and resilient mindset.

Understand the Impact of Achievement Culture and What to Do Instead: Becoming aware of the unhealthy societal pressures is crucial in reshaping your parenting approach and shifting the focus to your child’s holistic wellbeing over external markers of success.

Implement Strategies to Build Resilience: Model positive behavior to build resilience by encouraging intrinsic values such as kindness and compassion. Learn how to promote effort and growth rather than perfection to empower your kids to navigate challenges and succeed in a healthy way.



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Website-Dr. Meeker (8)
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