HOW TO TALK TO CHILDREN ABOUT REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS by Charles Schaefer

HOW TO TALK TO CHILDREN ABOUT REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In actuality: strategies for dealing with a variety of stressful situations and difficult subjects--without the thoroughness of delicacy of Formanek and Gurian's Why? Children's Questions: What They Mean and How to Answer Them (1980). Schaefer is a child psychologist at The Children's Village in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., a well-known treatment center for disturbed youngsters; the author of numerous books on child-therapy for parents and professionals; and a sound source of advice, as far as he goes. But only on relatively minor subjects do his short-form answers begin to suffice. Among his bulleted suggestions for easing the strain of a move, for instance, is making the move in the spring, if possible--""due to a greater readiness of teachers to accept a child's former teacher's valuations late in the year, and because the teacher has more time to devote to a newcomer."" Schaefer does not have inside tips of that caliber to offer in other areas, however--Sleep-Away Camp, for one, has pitfalls untouched by the pointers here--and on major concerns, from divorce and remarriage to sex and death, his unexceptionable advice is so short on context (including developmental considerations) as to constitute hardly more than a checklist. Apart from Formanek-and-Gurion (and others) on major issues, Bank Street's Raising a Competent Child (above) and parenting guides like Penelope's Leach's do better with everyday situations (going to doctor or dentist, school anxieties). Schaefer doesn't mean to be reductive, but that's the way it comes out.

Pub Date: Nov. 28th, 1984
Publisher: Harper & Row