Never Enough: A Conversation with Jennifer B. Wallace
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In partnership with Brick Church School, PLNY presents an important back-to-school event for parents with children of all ages. Award-winning journalist Jennifer B. Wallace talks with us about her critically acclaimed book Never Enough: When Achievement Pressure Becomes Toxic – and What We Can Do About It, which investigates the deep roots of toxic achievement culture and offers parents tools to help raise healthy achievers. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with families, psychologists, educators, and an original survey of 6,500 parents, Wallace exposes how the pressure to perform is larger than any one family, school or community. In her three years of research, she went in search of the healthy achievers: who were the kids who were thriving despite the pressures in their environment? What, if anything, did they have in common? What did their parents focus on at home? What was school like for them? What were their friendships like? How did they fit into their larger communities?
It turns out, these healthy achievers had a lot in common. They had a high level of what psychologists have termed "mattering" -- that is, they felt valued by their family, friends, and communities, and were depended on to add meaningful value back to the families, friends, and communities. What Wallace's research finds, and what decades of research on mattering suggests, is that people who have a high level of mattering thrive in adolescence and adulthood. Join us for an introduction to the mattering framework and take home one of the most powerful ways of protecting our children's mental health to set them up to thrive this upcoming school year.
Jennifer Wallace is an award-winning journalist and author of the 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 national television to discuss her articles and relevant topics in the news.
After graduating from Harvard College, Wallace began her journalism career at CBS “60 Minutes,” where she was part of a team that won The Robert F. Kennedy Awards for Excellence in Journalism. She is a Journalism Fellow at The Center for Parent and Teen Communication at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Jennifer serves on the board of the Coalition for the Homeless in New York City, where she lives with her husband and their three children.