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It Takes A Parent [Hardcover]

Betsy Hart


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Book Description

Aug. 23 2005
A nationally syndicated columnist and conservative commentator examines the harmful effects of today's "parenting culture."

Tyrannized by "experts." Obsessed with perfection. Harried and anxious to the point of misery. Columnist and commentator Betsy Hart sees these traits in what she calls today's "parenting culture"-that is, a nation of parents who refrain from making moral judgments, who put their kids on a pedestal whether they deserve it or not, who shy away from disciplining or even criticizing when kids misbehave, and who generally cede the responsibility for making decisions, large and small, to their children. Hart argues that the consequences of this hands-off approach can be seen on the faces of dependent, wayward, and even violent children and teens-not to mention miserable moms and dads.

A mother of four, Hart presents a smart, passionate, and provocative argument for the crucial-and currently unfashionable-role of parents who lead rather than follow. From parents who insist on giving their kids a choice about everything and make excuses for their bad behavior, to those who drive their kids to excel at any endeavor and who turn to trained professionals for every problem, It Takes a Parent questions some tightly held cultural assumptions, and sheds light on the everyday concerns of parents across the nation.

This insightful, commonsense book will help shift the focus back to the role and responsibilities of parents-for guiding the character and hearts of their children, so they will grow up to be responsible adults themselves.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: GP Putnam And Sons; 1 edition (Aug. 23 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399153039
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399153037
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.7 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #423,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
A 2003 Time magazine article asked the question "Does Kinder-garten Need Cops?" Apparently, the answer is yes. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about time Oct. 12 2005
By L. A. Kane - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
At long last a non-psychobabble, commonsense approach to raising kids right. Hart's book is profound, sorely needed, and right on. She argues that idolizing children and focusing solely on their self-esteem is not healthy. Clearly they need nurturing, but not to the exclusion of limits, ground rules, and a solid understanding of right and wrong. Parents need to be authority figures. They also, she argues, need to stop obsessing about perfect kids and realize that mistakes can become learning opportunities that help children grow into healthy, well centered adults. And, of course, she argues against falling for the latest 60-seconding parenting tip of the day. Her work helps shift the focus back to parent's proper roles and responsibilities in guiding the character of their children. I taught in a public school part-time for eight years and currently teach martial arts to kids (and adults). I have seen the behavioral problems she refers to over and over again and have seen first hand how her approach really does work. And I use a similar approach with my own kids. This book is well written, compelling, and sorely needed. It's about time someone promulgated this approach. Highly recommended!
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Household Tool Aug. 22 2005
By Caring but Struggling Stepmom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book should be a household tool. I just read a copy and have to say that Mrs. Hart is preaching to the choir for me and so many other moms. It is difficult to stand up to what everyone else is doing with and for their kids when you are different. The odd part, is that in our hearts, we know we are doing what is best for our children by not falling for the mega advertising and "stepford children" mentality that everyone else is doing.

My twin stepdaughters want everything that they see on TV and in magazines, even hear ads on the radio. Even though their natural mom runs to the mall to get them everything possible "BEFORE ANYONE ELSE DOES," their dad and I do not play this game. It is a terrible struggle, especially when we know that there are other parents and step-parents who want to go along with us but choose not to due to looking like a bad person.

There are only a handful of us in their school who do not play by the rules and pressures of today's society and we are constantly being shot down and talked about. It would be much easier to just go with the flow.

I am very happy that Mrs.Hart, a syndicated columnist, has taken a stand on this matter and hope that each and every parent will give it up and read the book.

It will surely get much negative exposure, "How dare someone question the rules of the IN CROWD, and tell parents to act and become the PARENT..."

It's very brave of her to do so...as well as another syndicated family columnist, Jodie Lynn. In her book, Mommy-CEO, she says similar things and offers similar "how to" alternatives for parents to be THE PARENTS. Both books are well qualified to be in every household across the GLOBE and should become a tool in each house.

For the sake of all children, please buy both books and share them with everyone. If we are to save our children and ourselves, listen to these two authors who know what they see and hear each day from parents and teachers themselves.

BRAVO to these two women who are brave enough to come out of the MEDIA world and tell it like it really is!
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a book that gives parents permission to be a parent Aug. 24 2005
By Someone who cares - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
It's ok to tell our children "no." It's ok to turn off the TV, to take away the Game Boy, to deny the ice cream cone. Come on parents! Step up to the plate and take some responsibility for your children! We have become a nation of children raising themselves. It's time to embrace the responsibility of being a parent. You owe it to your children and you owe it to our collective future.This book will help you on your way.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Homespun Advice - a review of "It Takes a Parent" Dec 9 2005
By PeaTee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is an okay book from which you can expect to get two or three good ideas. It is basically homespun advice that uses personal experience as a base. (When I was a child my parents did this. This is what I do with my kids....)

As other reviewers have noted Ms. Hart builds up straw man arguments that she then proceeds to knock down. This frequently takes the form of 'here is what pushover parents are doing' and here is what it makes sense to do. This approach however is what really appeals to her niche audience and if you can excuse her the format of the argument, there is frequently something worth pondering in her message.

Three Stars. Others found it an excellent read, but I found it overly wordy. I think the same advice could have been put in half the space. That said, "It Takes a Parent" is worth reading, although one might want to wait for the paperback (or library). [Not a book one is likely to read over and over--pass it along to friends and family.]

Since the "Search inside this book" feature does not have the second page of contents I have listed them below.

8 - When did "No" Become a Dirty Word?

9 - Wo Chose to Give Kids So Many Choices?

10 - Feelings, Wo-oh-oh Feelings

11-Led Zeppeline and the culture Wars: The culture Can Be Cool

12-To Spank or Not to Spank (and Why It's Not Really the Right Question, Anyway)

13-Challenge the Experts for the Sake of Your Child

Sources

Index
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting discussion on Culture Sept. 18 2005
By Roger Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As a 40 year old single man without children, the subject

of raising kids does not, in itself interest me.

However, for years I have admired Ms. Hart ability to

use and express common sense in getting to the crux of

problems. And most of all, she simply a fun writer

to read.

Therefore, I picked up the book the day it came out, and despite having to get back to work the next day, I spent the same evening reading it.

What I appreciated most of all in this book, is her

outstanding ability in using and explaining studies. So much of today's conventional wisdom in rasing children is based on horribly flawed studies and poor/biased use of data (As an Auditor/CPA this is something I often deal with)

Her chapter in spanking is a minor masterpiece of explaining the almost unbelievably biased interpretation of studies done on raising children. However the whole book in itself will make you a bit more aware on how the media puts it own spin on just about anything.

And yes, the book is also plain fun.

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