What is Trauma of Privilege?

More and more attention is being drawn to the disturbing phenomenon that children raised with every advantage and opportunity are exhibiting the same symptoms as those raised with abuse and neglect.

  • The mental health epidemic among privileged kids: Madeline Levine, The Price of Privilege
  • Well educated young people with crippling emptiness, aimlessness and insecurity: William Deresiewicz, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life
  • The “suicide contagion” in Palo Alto: Frank Bruni, “Best, Brightest— and Saddest?” NY Times

Our children are becoming young adults who have no idea who they are. They are anxious, fearful and depressed. Their despair can manifest in a wide range of self-destructive behaviors and addictions, or in a more passive, “failure to launch”—those who never leave home, or return only to sleep away the days, with no passion or purpose, refusing or incapable of growing up.

We at the EBI have been at the center of the swirl of awareness about the unintended consequences of affluence and privilege on our children. These children enter our treatment center, sick and addicted, and their parents are baffled and confused, “We gave them everything!” We have come to call this the Trauma of Privilege

How is the culture of privilege traumatizing our children?

Parenting in a culture of privilege has become an industry geared toward the production of perfect children. In a world of winners and losers, parenting is a competitive sport and children’s successes are parents’ trophies. Children are valuable, not valued.

Parents and children are trapped in a cycle of mutual dependency fueled by a crippling fear of failure and inadequacy.

Parents are:

  • Over protective and indulgent
  •  Intolerant of children’s imperfections: sadness, fear, anger, insecurities

Children become:

  • Narcissistic and self loathing
  • Dependent and incompetent

Both parents and children are highly stressed.

This fear-driven, misattuned parenting disrupts the healthy attachment process through which children develop into autonomous, emotionally and spiritually integrated adults.

What we can do

The EBI is offering a 2 hour seminar in which you will learn to:

Break the cycle: Move from fear based parenting to love based parenting

In this seminar we will explore:

  • What are we so afraid of?
  • What is true love?
  • The peer pressure factor: The challenges we face if we choose to opt out of the culture of privilege/fear based parenting
  • How can we find support in becoming a love-based parent?

Find out how you can relate to yourselves and your children with love, compassion and acceptance instead of fear, resistance and shame.

Learn how you can raise your children to embrace all of who they are-their strengths and weaknesses, to tolerate rejection and disappointment and to become responsible, engaged and competent adults.

Become part of a community of like-minded individuals and families dedicated to this new paradigm of parenting.


Check out our upcoming events: