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The Seven Common Sins of Parenting An Only Child: A Guide for Parents and Families Paperback – Aug 12 2004

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The Seven Common Sins of Parenting An Only Child: A Guide for Parents and Families + Parenting An Only Child: The Joys and Challenges of Raising Your One and Only + The Case for the Only Child: Your Essential Guide
Price For All Three: CDN$ 39.33

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“Offers sound and practical advice in areas potentiallyworrisome and problematic for parents of onlychildren.”--Susan Newman, author, Parenting an Only Child:The Joys and Challenges of Raising Your One and Only

“A clear and helpful guide to parenting the only child.Carolyn White knows whereof she speaks.”--Carl Pickhardt,author, The Everything Parent’s Guide to PositiveDiscipline

“As an only child, now raising an only child, I amgrateful for the insightful and unique perspective this book offersthe reader.”--Ira Wohl, psychotherapist, filmmaker, andwinner of an Academy Awardâ for Best Feature Documentary forBest Boy

“A down-to-earth description of the unique dilemmas facingparents of only children. . . . gives only children a voice fortheir experience.”--Nina Asher, clinical psychologist, childdevelopment specialist

“This charming, compassionate guide to raising onlychildren not only grants absolution to parents who have committedone or more or the Seven Sins but also gives practical strategiesthat offer salvation for the future.”--Nora Malone, head ofschool, Village School, Pacific Palisades, California

From the Back Cover

As the parent of an only child, are you frustrated because you findyourself overindulging and overcompensating? Do you treat yourchild like an adult, overpraise, or overprotect him? Have youexpected perfection from your child yet failed to make rules andimplement them consistently? If you are not a perfect parent of anonly child, you are not alone. Based on the real-life experiencesof Carolyn White–editor of Only Child magazine,parent, and educator–and hundreds of interviews with onlychildren and parents of only children, The Seven Common Sins ofParenting an Only Child celebrates the special rewards andopportunities of the single-child family and offers a practical(and often humorous) guide for overcoming the most common errorsparents can make when rearing an only child.

"Offers sound and practical advice in areas potentiallyworrisome and problematic for parents of only children."
Susan Newman, author, Parenting an Only Child: TheJoys and Challenges of Raising Your One and Only

"A clear and helpful guide to parenting the only child. CarolynWhite knows whereof she speaks."
Carl Pickhardt, author, The EverythingParent’s Guide to Positive Discipline

"As an only child, now raising an only child, I am grateful forthe insightful and unique perspective this book offers thereader."
Ira Wohl, psychotherapist, filmmaker, and winner ofan Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary for BestBoy

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Twenty-three years ago, when my husband and I were in our early thirties, our daughter was born. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
99 of 102 people found the following review helpful
A very solid book Oct. 12 2004
By Emeric Belasco - Published on
Format: Paperback
My wife and I are "onlies" and we have a 2 year old boy who, in all likelihood, will be an only as well. When I was growing up (I'm 36) there was very little information on only children and I was the only "only" that I knew. There are many advantages to having only one but this book does a terrific job of listing the mistakes that parents can make. When I say "mistake" I mean emotional mistakes that are usually done with the best of intentions. Studies have shown that the vast majority of only childen grow up to lead happy, productive lives. This book, and the companion website, can help make this type of family structure, which is becoming more prevalent each year, even more happy and productive.

My parents both came from large families and really didn't know how to handle me being an only. They commited many of the sins in this book. I am certainly a well-adjusted adult, and I have a good relationship with my parents, but if this book had been available 20 years ago, my childhood would have been a lot smoother.

I like the way the author organized the patterns that parents of onlies exhibit. What are especially effective are the true-life stories that readers of have submitted over the years. Rather than include dry figures or statistics, there are actual people relating their problems and dealing honestly with their mistakes.

In short, both my wife and I found this to be a very solid read. I would recommend it not only to parents on onlies but to parents of multiple kids who think that they have the right to tell others what the correct family size should be.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
... and the 8th Sin is believing everything this book says! Feb. 19 2008
By Sunny Side Up - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book by Carolyn White has a catchy title, a good sales tool. She lists the 7 sins as:

1) Over-indulgence of child
2) Over-protection of child
3) Failure to discipline the child
4) Over-compensation- just because there's only one child
5) Seeking perfection from your only child
6) Treating your child like an adult
7) Over-praising the child

Apart from number (4) in the list, isn't everything else a general parenting pitfall for parents with any number of kids? I read the reviews here and on [...] where there are 2 full-length reviews of this book.

The 7 Sins book does have a lot of don't s for Only children, some of which are well-written. I think the stress on moderation was good. She says the book is based on interviews (therapy sessions?) of 100s of Only Children and their parents. Looks like she met mostly only children or parents who have a problem- and her book amply displays a preachy and 'talking down' attitude.

Her stress on giving kids their space and letting them be was refreshing. She talks about the sins of over-parenting and living vicariously through your kid- wanting your only to do the things YOU want, fulfilling YOUR un-fulfilled ambitions...

The writing style is clear. Although there is some humor mixed in it, overall you will feel drained and guilty. I promise you that you will not get lost in the book since it is well-structured and organized. But then you might end up requiring therapy after reading the whole book!

One more thing: this is a newer book on Only Children. Most of the others were published 10 or 20 years back.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
waste of time April 26 2008
By parent of an only child - Published on
Format: Paperback
Although this book contains some worth while points - the general flavor seemed quite negative and blaming for parents. There are certainly aspects of each of the key points that are good for parents to mindful of - but the book focuses on the bad or even harmful elements that we are "doing" to our only children without speaking about the positive aspects that may also accompany those same interactions. The process of having an only child can be quite a fulfilling adventure for parents and children and although having one child may not suit everyone, I would hate to perpetuate a myth that everyone needs to have 2.5 children and the white picket fence in order to be a good parent. I returned this book because I just couldn't get past the shaming nature of the text - which I should have guessed from the title "seven common sins". As a developmental psychologist and the parent of a single child, I just can't recommend this book. I was very disappointed.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Pratical advice for parents of only children May 6 2006
By Suzanne Sparr - Published on
Format: Paperback
Don't take the title too literally! This is one of the best books on parenting; such great, hands-on practical advice. I view the book as a wonderful parenting tool for families with any number of children. As I read the book, I was reminded of several situations that I have observed in families with multiple children, and the parents "commit the same sins" that you mention in the book. Good parenting requires the same principles no matter how many children are in the home. Also, the [...] website is a great resource for handling questions from others on why we have an only child. Thank you for your support and common sense!
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The Best "Only" Guide Out There!! June 7 2006
By Michael Lam - Published on
Format: Paperback
I think I've read every book about only children that has ever been written. "The Seven Common Sins" is by far the most practical, touching and inspiring one that I've read so far. The real life tales that Carolyn White provides, coupled with her wonderful way of expressing her own experience raising her only child, made me feel at ease. It was so comforting to know that there are other people out there who have had the same experiences that I have had! Carolyn provides great, solid advice in each section and I really benefitted from doing the "quizzes." I would recommend this book for only children, parents of only children, and for families in general!