Take the worry out of parenting…
These days, parenthood and anxiety seem to go hand in hand, especially given that it’s harder than ever to raise happy, well-adjusted kids in our complicated world. And all parents long to figure out just who their child will become when he or she grows up. But with websites, media, and other parents providing an endless stream of advice about how to raise a perfect and perfectly happy child, how can you really know whom to trust?
Susan Engel draws on her years of experience as a developmental psychologist, educator, and mother to help parents stop worrying about their young children’s future and stop trying to control their formative years. Offering an intriguing new way of thinking about child development, she uses both personal and professional research to identify problematic behaviors that require intervention and gives reassurance about those that don’t. Unlike many parenting experts, Engel encourages perspective and acceptance: rambunctious children will calm down as they find activities to absorb their intellectual energy; similarly, as shy kids grow, they will learn how to reach out to others on a one-to-one level.
Engel provides straightforward guidance about issues of major concern for parents—happiness, intelligence, love, and morality—while blending stories about real children with relevant and up-to-the-minute social and clinical research. This absorbing narrative is an indispensable tool that will restore your sanity, help you sleep better, and put the joy back in child-raising.
Engel (The Stories Children Tell and Context Is Everything) advises parents how to develop the perspective they need to distinguish real problems that require professional help from the quirky character traits kids may well outgrow. Each of six chapters examines one central quality not always obvious when children are young but of central importance as they grow up intelligence, friendship, goodness, success, romance, and happiness and the patterns that characterize them so parents will know what to watch for. Unlike most parenting books, this one doesn't actually label kids' behavior. Instead, it tells scores of didactic and entertaining stories about the second grade's Mortal Enemy Club; Oliver, the good egg from a rotten neighborhood; Raymond, the passionate preschool artist; Cody, who never fulfilled his potential; and lovely, lonely Lenore. Through these anecdotes and the interpolation of research results from educational and developmental psychologists Engel tells parents how to read their kids' clues and reminds them that a single episode or characteristic has to be understood in terms of the child's whole experience. Parents will come away from this insightful book more with a sense of how to proceed rather than specific directions, but the author knows her stuff and is a wonderful storyteller.