THE SOCIALLY COMPETENT CHILD: A Parent's Guide to Social Development from Infancy to Early Adolescence by Anita & Ruth Formanek Gurian

THE SOCIALLY COMPETENT CHILD: A Parent's Guide to Social Development from Infancy to Early Adolescence

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Overburdened with quotation ""to enable you to tune in to what's in children's hearts, and on their minds,"" this handbook offers scant guidance to parents concerned about their children's interpersonal byes. In Why? Children's Questions (1980), the psychologist authors made appropriate and effective use of childhood utterances. Here, to little specific purpose, we have children's observations on the nature of friendship (""A friend is somebody you need bad, and sometimes he is very busy but he helps you anyway""); on the power of peer pressure (""In my school, if you're not in the 'in' group, you're nothing, not even to the teachers""); and on problems of divorce (""First I didn't want to talk about it, but now I talk with my friends""). ""What's a Parent To Do?"" brings standard advice with little elaboration. Parents of young children are told not to expect long-term relationships and not to force sharing; with an aggressive child, ""play out with him some other way he might learn to join a group""--but no example is given. To parents of adolescents, the authors cite a study which found that ""conflicts between parents and children were mostly on minor issues: makeup, dating, leisure activities""; accordingly, they should set limits and ground rules. Chapters on moving, divorce, relationships in school and work situations are similarly superficial. Without a model of competence or even a well-developed description of the socially competent child, the book is mostly conventional wisdom and the child outlook.

Pub Date: March 25th, 1983
Publisher: Haughton Mifflin