MOTHER/FATHER/YOU: The Adult's Guide for Getting Along Great with Parents and In-Laws by Carol C. & Earl Ubell Flax

MOTHER/FATHER/YOU: The Adult's Guide for Getting Along Great with Parents and In-Laws

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Homage--almost too much so--to ""nurturing listening"" and ""genuine assertion"" techniques: as such, one long demonstration of how to parrot what mom or dad says to defuse their weapons. Weapons come in many forms--judgments, interrogations, belittling, manipulativeness--but this therapist and TV science reporter claim that the communication block is largely a function of ""toxic"" language, rather than the other way around. Parents, they assert, will reveal what they are really thinking (rather than hiding behind ""hidden agendas"") if they become convinced that you are really listening, and will in turn listen to you--and hear--as a reward for your perceptiveness and caring. They will also hear any cry for help that is ""genuine"" (there's that word again) and given half a chance, will heed the cry. All this puts quite a burden on language, particularly since some of the authors' ideal responses have that stiff and formal ring: ""I hear you saying that you cleaned the whole house today."" One also wonders about some of the model assertions; can communication really proceed from a response like ""I feel totally degraded for having even heard [your proposition] ?"" Still, these lay applications of Carl Rogers' listening techniques are an improvement over the chronic defensiveness of some parent-kid standoffs; and anyone can learn from the reiteration of the importance of empathy for mutual understanding.

Pub Date: Dec. 3rd, 1980
Publisher: Wyden--dist. by Atheneum