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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(3 star). See all 84 reviews
on March 27, 2014
This book could be so much more. I like the main idea (kids needing to connect with parents more than with peers) but the delivery is poor. The author says the same thing over and over (and over) again. I get that being peer-oriented is bad. Either offer more tips or make the book shorter.
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on April 1, 2012
While I agree with most of what the authors have to say, I have some reservations about it. Never has the family been so child centered; we're having fewer kids, having them later, understanding better our roles as parents and questioning how we were raised ourselves. I think there is some fear-mongering in this approach. 'Better not allow your kids to ever get angry at you or ever be told, "because I say so" or show your own ambivalence about parenting or else the kids will reject you, your influence, your ideas, your values and turn completely to peers to fill them up.' I do understand that there is more stuff outside of the home to lure kids away and never have children been so targeted by media and shopping and gadgets and peer pressure. But the generation gap is not new; kids have been rejecting parents openly since the fifties when 'dating' emerged as an activity not necessarily leading to marriage and media and the automobile gave kids a freedom that was unprecedented. I'm pretty sure this generation didn't invent eye-rolling and sighing and disobedience and pushing limits.

Parents are more stretched than they were a few generations ago. Dual incomes are the norm. Kids are 'raised' in daycares and often outside their homes. Divorce is common. But I also don't think these phenomenons are wholly new. Go back far enough and women were all working - who filled all the low paying factory jobs during the industrial revolution? Poor people have always had to work - women inside and outside their homes. Large families meant lots of siblings - lots of kids that were expected to shut up and contribute and certainly not cause any waves. To be fed and clothed and educated meant the parents were doing a good job. I'm sure these parents didn't have the intelligence or luxury to worry about their offspring's emotional balance. They had to cope. Period. Women died in childbirth and second or third marriages and step-families and half-families and kids being separated and divided among relatives were not unusual.

I'm not suggested for one moment that there isn't much more to child rearing than providing food and shelter and education. I think intelligent parents should be concerned with their children's self esteem, their core feelings of trust and safety, have friendly, positive, open, communicative relationships with their kids. I think, whenever possible, kids should be raised in their own homes or have daycare situations that are as stable as possible. But I don't think 'time outs' or 'removal of privileges' are akin to child abuse. I don't think the average child will be annihilated from a temporary loss of favor. Good grief! Dr. Spock talks about setting limits right from the start. I totally respect his opinion - it seems a great balance between the needs of the parent and the child. If your 6 month old is biting you, it seems reasonable to put them down and tell them no. Not sure the authors of this book would agree. That would be cruel - the child needs more cuddling, more affirmation, more affection.....Really? Children need limits and boundaries and reasonable expectations and they get this through confident loving leadership. How can children learn how to handle disappointment if they are never disappointed? How can they learn the value of their privileges if they never earn them?

So I found this an interesting read overall. I think from a 'social anthropology' perspective it's very intriguing. Always interesting to read about trends and differences in generations. But I do think most of these theories can be easily taken with a grain of salt. All parents have their own styles - some naturally strict, others more permissive. All can raise happy, well adjusted kids that value their family connections for their whole lives. This is something else Dr. Spock mentions - it's more the tone and spirit of your parenting that matters. So I have both books on my shelf. When I become a grandmother I'll lend out both to my daughter. She turned out ok and we have a fabulous relationship. I think I've always naturally adopted the approach of non-punitive parenting. My home was always a place where her friends liked to be.
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on September 30, 2014
Maybe to sum up my opinion in a more concise reader-friendly manner (opposite of this book's presentation):
Amazing content and rich in ideas
Poor on practical application of these ideas (all jammed in the last 30 pages)
Extremely poor on presenting these ideas in a brief and succinct manner. After the first chapter, I get it: "kids are more peer-oriented than ever before and we need to bring them in and recreate parent-child orientation. Please do not go on for chapter after chapter with the same idea!

Conclusion: If you want a great book, buy it, read the first chapter, then skip to the end of the book. Also, look for other sources of information on how to build that bridge of trust with your child.
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on February 9, 2017
Enjoy the overall message but the content is extremely repetitive for no reason which makes it hard to get through
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on July 16, 2008
I attended a full day presentation by Gordon Neufeld where he crammed the practical information into the last half hour. I purchased the book hoping to review his ideas at a more leisurely pace. The book was written like a university lecture. And like the presentation the practical information was crammed to the back of the book-- this is where you should start your reading. While I do not agree with everything he writes he has some good ideas.
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on April 16, 2007
I purchased this book after attending a 2 hour lecture by Mr. Neufeld which was a huge eye opener and was profound enough to change how I parent.This book has an impactful message, focusing on cultivating a connected relationship with your child and insight into the negative impact that occurs when children become more connected to their peers than their parents.

Read all the 5 star reviews to find out about the good side of this book BUT- here is the downside- as much as I appreciated the message, this book is not an easy read and I am a true die hard reader of non-fiction books (esp. parenting books!) Had I not attended the lecture I never would have persevered through to finish the book.

It felt to me that the author was more focused on proving his theory to other scholars rather than relating to the average parent. I love to pass on books that have made a difference in my life, yet I know this one would sit half read on my friends night stands due to the fact that it was too long, too wordy, and points were repeated to the point of being redundant.

In terms of message I rate this book a 5 star, because of how it was written I must give it a 3 star rating.
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