The Collapse of Parenting

How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups

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By Leonard Sax

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In this New York Times bestseller, one of America’s premier physicians offers a must-read account of the new challenges facing parents today and a program for how we can better prepare our children to navigate the obstacles they face 

In The Collapse of Parenting, internationally acclaimed author Leonard Sax argues that rising levels of obesity, depression, and anxiety among young people can be traced to parents abdicating their authority. The result is children who have no standard of right and wrong, who lack discipline, and who look to their peers and the Internet for direction. Sax shows how parents must reassert their authority – by limiting time with screens, by encouraging better habits at the dinner table, and by teaching humility and perspective – to renew their relationships with their children. Drawing on nearly thirty years of experience as a family physician and psychologist, along with hundreds of interviews with children, parents, and teachers, Sax offers a blueprint parents can use to help their children thrive in an increasingly complicated world.
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  • "[Sax is] sounding some alarms that we'd do well to heed, and for our kids' sakes, I think sooner is better than later."
    Chicago Tribune
  • "Dr. Leonard Sax's The Collapse of Parenting should be required reading for all parents."
    Dr. Nancy Kehoe,author of Wrestling with Our Inner Angels
  • "[Sax's] guidelines are clear and well-supported."
  • "A comprehensive breakdown of where parents have gone awry and how they can get back on track to teach virtue and character to their children."
  • "The Collapse of Parenting is one of the best books I've ever read on the subject of raising children. It's not written from a religious perspective, but it's chock-full of information every parent should have."
    National CatholicRegister
  • "The Collapse of Parenting may sound like a lone voice in the world of American parenting these days, but it's a desperately needed one.... If you're going to read a single parenting book this year, please make it this one."
  • "If you're going to read one book on parenting this year, make it The Collapse of Parenting by Leonard Sax."
    New York Journal of Books
  • “One of the premier experts on parenting, Dr. Leonard Sax brilliantly articulates the problems parents experience with their children, then gives solutions. If you have time to read only one book this year, read this one.”
    Meg Meeker, MD, bestselling author of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters and Strong Mothers, Strong Sons
  • "The family unit is in unprecedented decline and under assault from a wide variety of cultural forces. With years of experience and research working directly with parents and children, Dr. Leonard Sax provides an important glimpse into parenting in modern times, where it's gone wrong, and how to fix it. Being a parent has never been more important and Dr. Sax explains how to avoid parenting pitfalls and raise your children well."
    Dr. Bill Bennett, former United States Secretary of Education
  • "Based on years of extensive clinical practice and interviews with students and parents internationally, Sax presents a sobering and alarming picture of the collapse of parenting in this country. But he does not leave the reader without hope; he offers simple, if not easy solutions, giving parents an accessible guide to help them regain their rightful roles."
    Dr. Nancy Kehoe, assistant clinical professor of psychology atHarvard Medical School, and author of Wrestling with Our Inner Angels:Faith, Mental Illness and the Journey to Wholeness
  • "It is time for us to get real as a society. Dr. Leonard Sax has issued both a warning and an encouragement for parents to take up their proper roles in leading their children to a truly mature adulthood. His book is a highly readable and well-informed challenge for us."
    Dr. Timothy Wright, Headmaster, Shore School, Sydney(Australia)

On Sale
Oct 1, 2024
Page Count
352 pages
Basic Books

Leonard Sax

About the Author

Leonard Sax, MD, PhD, is a board-certified family physician, psychologist, and author of Why Gender Matters, Boys Adrift, and Girls on the Edge. Dr. Sax has visited more than five hundred schools worldwide and has appeared on major radio and television programs including the Today show, CBS, CNN, Fox, and NPR’s Weekend Edition. Sax lives with his family in Chester County, Pennsylvania. 

Learn more about this author