on 24 November 1998
What a relief to stumble across this book as my son turns twenty months! The authors provide detailed discussions of how to construct a parenting philosphy that "honors the impulse" behind children's behavior in a variety of situations: play, toileting, sleeping (or not), physical activity, child care, conflict and friendship. It handles less frequently handled topics as well, such as young children's sex play, racism, and homophobia. The book is a strong advocate for parents. Having a family with children, they stress, is not a project of controlling children but rather of balancing interests between all family members. Unlike many parenting books, this work lets the parent reflect on what his or her own family's boundaries should be while offering information about children's possible perspectives in specific situations and ideas for respecting these perspectives. I also appreciated the invitation to think about one's own upbring in order to create a set of practices to model for our own children. Single parents, gay parents, and parents of non-Christian faith are all actively included in the examples, which are helpfully and skillfully drawn from one of the author's parenting groups. In a welcome departure from many parenting books, fathers and men are also considered to be equally capable of and interested in raising their children. I have enjoyed incorporating the author's ideas into my daily interactions with my son and husband. I suspect that many other parents who don't fit into the "What to expect..." advice series would as well. Several friends will be getting this as a gift for the holidays!!!
on 7 May 1999
This is a book that shares so many parents ideas and strategies with me as I stumble through parenting. It is unique in that I actually laugh, cry and exclaim out loud as I hear stories of these different yet same parents in so many walks of life. It gave me the most important message of listening to advice of what works and what doesnt then adjusting the advice to our unique values, situation and baby. I felt like I am not the only parent who obsses about every detail. I especially like the chapter about building a community for my family.
on 26 April 1998
I believe that if children could tell us what to think about them and how to listen and talk to them, then this is the book they would have written to their parents. The authors have covered almost everything there is to consider about parenting. And, they have done so in a heartfelt manner with a compassionate tone. Each parent is encouraged to explore their own needs, wishes, and feelings about parenting, as well as their own childhood history. However, this is DEFINITELY NOT a "therapeutic" workbook. Rather, this is a book about choices, differences, expectations, and feelings. It is so easy to over-identify with our young children and to want to make life better and even PERFECT for them. The authors acknowledge this and then take us one step further...young children know what is; they live in the moment, thus our children don't expect us to be perfect so why do we expect it from them? I will be giving this book forever as a gift to friends, family, and colleagues. This book is a gift!!!
on 10 February 1998
As a preschool teacher and mother of two boys (5 & 3), I highly recommend this book. It covers most every parenting issue you may ever have concerning your young child. The authors give you the latest, developmentally appropriate solutions to your parenting issues, and they guide you on the pathway to parenting excellence with their Nine Principles for the Parenting Journey. A must read for every parent.