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John H. ManholdThe Silberts have provided a much-needed book on a very timely subject. Increasing numbers of children are performing at a sub-par academic level This performance, the authors point out, invariably is the symptom of situations that result from myriad problems that can be solved with proper child-parent rapport. The authors, as an aside, have presented, but in an inoffensive manner, the fact that the average parent, although ‘caring', or believing him/herself to be, often unthinkingly employs the least effective, and perhaps even the completely wrong, tactic.
The average reader will be able to identify, almost immediately, many of the circumstances involved in their own personal case. The parent who is too involved with the necessity of making a living to have sufficient time for the child; the result of a broken home; too stringent rules; the overextended student: the student with undiscovered hearing problems; the one with attention deficit, or perhaps just a slower ability to learn – parents often set standards that the child is incapable of achieving; the child who does not gain a sense of ‘being part of the family' – a not unusual situation today where the child may be in day care in the morning, the ward of a baby sitter in the afternoon, rushed through dinner and being put to bed at night with little actual contact with the family; and many more causative situations.
The book presents a large mass of important material in a very easily read series of simplified case studies, with subsequent succinct discussion of suggested solutions. It is a book that should provide the reader with an invaluable insight into the child's problem, and coincidentally necessitate the parent toindulge in some introspection to solve it.
I should like to have seen a little further expansion on the subject of instilling a sense of ‘trust' in a child, because of the difficult and unsafe environment of today's world. However, the book does stress that a parent should realize his/her capabilities and seek professional aid when necessary where material of this nature easily can be obtained.
I strongly recommend this book for any parent whose child is experiencing difficulties in school, or for any parent, for that matter. They may gain an insight to some of their own, possibly less than acceptable, parent-child thought or action patterns. (John H. Manhold, Psychological Counselor and Past President, Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine)