RAISING A CONFIDENT CHILD by Bank St. College of Education & Others
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More precisely, and less prescriptively: how to guide your child's social development, according to his or her temperament and strengths, your family values and customs. Once again the Bank Street folk have managed to be both flexible and firm--without advancing those precepts (or any other buzz-words) as a philosophy of child-rearing. In a brief but pointed Foreword, Leah Levinger identifies three underlying issues: ""the gap between adult expectations and child behavior; the struggle between individual freedom and the demands of society; the balance between interpersonal relationships and solitary, contemplative experiences."" (Solitude will later turn up, aptly, as ""the flip side of sociability."") The text proper is organized by stages of development--with stress on parental interaction with the infant (rich scenarios of play and conversation), on patience and accommodation with the toddler (ways to handle tantrums, to avoid or defuse embarrassing utterances), on the advances and regressions, the expanding experiences and differing responses of the preschool years (bedtimes, toilet times, mealtimes, child-child relation and sibling relationships), on the social skills and peer-group life of the early school years, and so on. There is attention throughout to specific situations, whether recurring (birthday parties, grandparent visits, eating out) or age-tied: the benefits of a preschool program, readiness for kindergarten, the pros and cons of organized groups. But there is always de-emphasis on competition, ""a quest for excellence,"" or ""living up to rules and expectations set by others."" On the particular matter of anti-social behavior--in the family, with other children--positive models are provided. So, too, with manners per se--from a ""thank-you"" to a toddler--and such child social-occasions as sleeping over. Practical wisdom, keyed to individuality and consideration for others.

Pub Date: Jan. 24th, 1984
Publisher: Pantheon