"What is lacking in children's lives is space. They are pressed into a testing culture, or even into a gang culture, they are bullied and manipulated until they fit in, they never have any time to develop in their own space."And this to say about happiness:
He understands the urge to join a gang. "A lot of it is yearning for love, they want to fit in, if their families are as chaotic as some of them are, gangs give them a sense of belonging."
But he says pushy parents who rush children between ballet and violin lessons are suffocating their offspring too. "Children live crowded lives, we're not making their lives easy by pressurising them, whether it's the claustrophobia of gang culture or the claustrophobia of intense achievement in middle-class areas."
"Happiness happens when you are not thinking about it, when you are inhabiting your body comfortably… when you feel at peace with yourself and the world. When we live overprotective, overstimulated lives we expect more all the time, we find it hard to be unself-conscious and just do what we do, we overanalyse."