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A Good Enough Parent: A Book on Child-Rearing

Overview

In this book, the preeminent child psychologist of our time gives us the results of his lifelong effort to determine what is most crucial in successful child-rearing. His purpose is not to give parents preset rules for raising their children, but rather to show them how to develop their own insights so that they will understand their own and their children's behavior in different situations and how to cope with it. Above all, he warns, parents must not indulge their impulse to try to create the child they would ...
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Overview

In this book, the preeminent child psychologist of our time gives us the results of his lifelong effort to determine what is most crucial in successful child-rearing. His purpose is not to give parents preset rules for raising their children, but rather to show them how to develop their own insights so that they will understand their own and their children's behavior in different situations and how to cope with it. Above all, he warns, parents must not indulge their impulse to try to create the child they would like to have, but should instead help each child fully develop into the person he or she would like to be.

The preeminent child psychologist of this time gives the results of his lifelong effort to understand what is most crucial in successful child-rearing, stressing that it is an art, not a science.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this sensible, humane, if opinionated tract, Bettelheim offers practical advice that encourages parents to develop their own child-rearing approaches. The eminent child psychologist (The Uses of Enchantment, etc.) strongly believes that severe punishmentphysical or emotionalinstills resentment in the child. Arguing that bottle-feeding, if done lovingly, can be an effective substitute for breastfeeding, he turns to Japanese mothers for examples of technique. Chapters on play describe cops and robbers, chess, dolls, war games and other activities as ways by which children can master reality. Bettelheim urges parents to recognize that children are ultrasensitive to adults' inner feelings. He brings deep insight to such everyday problems as temper tantrums, schoolwork, putting kids to bed and explaining Santa Claus. BOMC alternate. (May 11)
Library Journal
Bettelheim doesn't offer another ``how-to'' book on childrearing but explores the vast complexity and richness of the parent-child relationship. From a psychoanalytic perspective, he discusses such topics as anxiety, school performance, discipline, fantasy, and adolescent rebellion, with an extended section on play and competition. He focuses on the child's struggle toward selfhood, with its conflicting currents of love and anger. The key to being a ``good enough'' parent is to explore relational needs and motivations; it is more valuable to understand emotions than to be ``perfect'' parents of ``perfect'' children. While denser reading than most parenting books, this is worth the effort for parents as well as professionals who work with families.Amy Goffman, Children's Rehabilitation Ctr., Charlottesville, Va.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517094877
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/28/1992

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