on September 15, 2003
I've read, browsed and perused many a parenting advice book over the course of the past 10 years, since the conception of our first child. This book, by far, is my favorite for many reasons.
Dr. Medhus is, herself, a mom. She is also a medical doctor. She knows children as a parent and as a professional. Through both of these honorable professions, she has a view of the good, the bad and the just plain ugly sides of parenting and child-raising. She also has a wonderfully funny sense of humor -- very down to earth and realistic (right down to booger-picking information).
This is a book, and a writer, to which (and whom) I can relate. Dr. Medhus is not preachy in any sense and in a candid, humorous way offers well-thought-out and well-organized suggestions and solutions to try. As with any parenting method, consistency is a plus -- and what you'll get, or should get, if you use the methods described in this book, are children who will start to think for themselves. If you have a child like our youngest son, who doesn't seem to care that his baseball uniform will be a filthy wrinkled mess if he leaves it on the floor instead of putting it in the laundry, it may take a little while longer for him to catch on than if you have a complacent child.
Dr. Medhus reminds parents to have a sense of humor -- and I'm
starting to see the amusing side of the baseball uniform being filthy for the next game, although I know my extremely frustrated and temper-tantrum-throwing first-grader won't find it funny one bit ... he will, however, see the consequences of not listening, and realize the consequences he, himself, stated : "It won't be washed for my next game?" Live and learn.
And "let them learn" is one of Dr. Medhus' underlying themes. For, by learning (even if it is the "hard way"), they'll start to think for themselves. And you'll no longer have to remind your child that, should she forget to do her homework and receive that after school detention, she'll miss going to a movie with her friends.
There's a section toward the middle of the book that addresses
particular familial situations that I absolutely LOVE. Dr. Medhus lists specific issues, in alphabetical order -- from Boredom to Booger Picking (okay, so that's under "Annoying Habits"), from Laziness to Body Piercing and everything beyond and between, she has ideas, suggestions and solutions.
I look forward to her next book!
on September 12, 2001
The problmes that seem pervasive among youth today, from mindless consumerism and premature sex to school shootings and drug abuse, have raised an uproar on all sides, and the blame for these ills gets bounced around like a ping-pong ball!--TV, video games, lack of religion, rap music, and on and on. But Dr. Medhus, after hundreds of interviews with children from all kids of backgrounds, reaches the conclusion that the problems really all spring from a common source: personalities that react to outside forces rather than their own beliefs and morals. Laying out the difference between "externally directed" people who act according to impulses, peer pressure, and the fear of punishment, and "self-directed" people, who have been taught to think for themselves and follow their own consciences, she goes on to share parenting methods intended to encourage the introspection, empathy, and high self-esteem that gives self-directed children their ability to resist negative influences. The author discusses specific techniques for handling many kinds of situations, with rules and disciplinary measures that help kids understand why bad behavior is wrong, instead of shaming or scaring them into blind submission. Indispensible advice for parents seeking to inspire their kids to self-confidence, adventurousness, independence, competence, and the ability to make positive contributions to the world.--MZ
on February 6, 2001
Having connections, I can safely say that this book will be a bestseller--without a doubt. It cleverly weaves a serious matter (life-changing) with a humorous, informal, easy-to-read style that appeals to parents (and parents-to-be) across the spectrum. As the title states, it is a guide on how to raise an internally-directed child. But what IS an internally-directed child? For example: An externally directed child would be the kid who is so self-conscious he is too afraid to pipe up in class and is deathly afraid of participation or (the most-feared) PRESENTATIONS. HOWEVER, an internally-directed child is not concerned with what others think, meaning they do not LIVE to please/annoy others, and therefore have more self-confidence and less self CONSCIOUSness when it comes to limiting their abilities. An externally directed child would let one small thing ruin their day, and an internally directed kid would devise a way to solve it, mend it, and move on. An externally directed child would fight over the front seat, but an internally directed child would not have such a fickle mentality, and would fight for things that are TRULY important in life. Containing dialogue from interviewed children, and a handy index for quick solutions to external problems, this informative, easy to read book is a must-have for parents. I would give it 10 stars if I could, but I guess 5 stars will just have to do.
on August 27, 2002
Page after page all made it clear that Dr. Medus really did her homework in putting together this great book on raising a confident and intrinsically successful child. Being a new father I find it a little daunting in being responsible (at least partially) for the behavioral molding of a human being. This book was a real eye opener is so many ways, from methods of dealing with conflict, to getting your child to accept his/her bedtime. In many instances I would finish reading a certain hypothetical scenario Dr. Medus had invented and think "wow that's exactly how I felt growing up!" Since my daughter is still only 6 months old I plan to reread this book many more times while she is growing up. I'd even recommend those without children to read it as it really hits home on how much our society is "externally directed" rather than internally.
on June 4, 2001
THIS BOOK IS A MUST-HAVE if you want your child to be independent, confident, responsible and able to make sound decisions without your constant hovering. If you read and incorporate its advice into your life, by the time your children reach adulthood, you will have done your job as a parent well. The author gives more practical suggestions for real-life situations than I've ever seen in any book on child-rearing, and is particularly helpful for those of us with children about to enter or in middle school/jr. high school. Dr. Medhus also explains how parents can encourage even younger children to be self-directed, so that many problems associated with adolescence can be avoided. If every parent can raise ONE self-directed child, the world will be a better place for us all.
on May 31, 2001
I am the Grandmother of a wonderful (and willful) two year old who had her Mother baffled until she read this wonderful book. Upon reading the book our daughter began applying the techniques. Bother Mother and Daughter are happier (Daddy too). My husband and I have read the book and believe it will improve our Grandparenting skills as well. The techniques Dr. Medhus prescribes are practical. The practices set forth in this book are much like those we used as we raised our son and daughter (who very definitely think for themselves). Dr. Medhus skillfully, and with charm, articulates age-old truths in modern day language. I highly recommend this book for Parents and Grandparents alike.
on August 16, 2010
I really like this book. It is not just more of the same. It sets out some clear actions that are not all so obvious and not simply rehashed from other books. It explains clearly how each of your actions will influence your child's growth; both the bad actions your need to avoid and the pro-active, positive actions you should be taking. Compared to other well known books on parenting, I'd say this one is set apart from many others I've read in that it provides some refreshing (but not surprising) ideas that make sense.
I highly recommend this book. Applies to parents of young children up through the teen years.
on November 6, 2001
This is a wonderful guide for parents and educators who are searching for techniques to help children avoid the pitfalls of "following the crowd." The author provides many practical strategies and "real life" examples of how to interact with children to prevent inadvertent development of an external locus of control. The suggestions are powerful and helpful to all adults who want to help children become independent thinkers in a world filled with challenges. Following the author's advice will enhance student development and improve parenting skills simultaneously.
on July 22, 2001
Wow, what a great read! Dr. Medhus highlights some seemingly "easy", yet truly profound ways that all parents, no matter what stage they are at, can use to improve their interactions with their children. I am a mother of two, and try daily to have a positive impact on my girls lives. Reading this pointed out to me many venues where by simply shifting my paradigm slightly, I can more effectively be the parent that I strive to be. Thank you Dr. Medhus for sharing your knowledge with parents everywhere. You certainly have touched our lives.
on June 19, 2001
This should be required reading for all adults and teenagers. It makes you look at why you make the choices you make.
As a parent, you will learn to guide your children towards makeing choices based on listening to their inner voice of reason, instead of listening to external influences.
I now have problem solving dialogue with my children on many sensitive issue affecting their life.
"Raising Children Who Think for Themselves" has made my daily life so pleasant. Thank you, Dr. Medhus.