Take a good look around you: You can't go into stores or restaurants without seeing joyless children screaming, sulking, resisting their parents, or pulling things off shelves. Parents, in turn, nag, complain, and often try desperately to ignore their unruly, surly offspring.
In today's world, both parents and children are suffering all around us. But it takes a catastrophic event like the tragedy at Columbine High School -- or one of any number of other frightening examples that make headlines weekly -- to get us to acknowledge that something terrible is happening to our children. We have lost touch with what they need from us to grow and thrive, and in the process we've created enormous numbers of children who are disaffected, alienated, amoral, emotionally stunted, and even violent. In The Epidemic, esteemed child and family psychiatrist Robert Shaw brings to bear a lifetime of firsthand experience with and knowledge of this plague, which has become so much the norm that we often don't even recognize its warning signs.
This bold and timely book tells you how to save your child and yourself from this epidemic, but its suggestions will not be the ones that today's parents are used to hearing. While the media is far from innocent, the bulk of the blame lies with the faddish, both neglectful and overindulgent, child-rearing practices that experts have promoted for the past three decades. "These children are not an aberration. They are the natural outcome of the way we have been raising them," Shaw notes. But there is hope, and Shaw's commonsenseapproach cuts to the core of the problem and shows us the cure, covering such important and controversial issues as:
- The myths and realities of bonding and attachment
- How to recognize when nonparental care is working -- and when it isn't
- Milestones in your child's moral and ethical development
- The difference between self-centeredness and self-esteem
- Why you must stop the media from mugging your child
- Strategies for bringing children back from the edge
The Epidemic is not just a "how-to" book, it is a "what is necessary" book -- a call for parents to take responsibility for their children and give them what they truly need in order to grow, thrive, and love.