Parenting Without Distraction


Reminds parents that much of their power and influence resides in listening and paying attention.

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Pierce’s guide for teaching parents how to manage their own and their children’s daily distractions.

Founder and president of the Southwest Family Guidance Center and Institute, Pierce encourages parents to reconsider how to manage the interruptions of smartphones and computers in an effort to form healthier and happier relationships with their children. The author coined the term “Attunetion”—a combination of “paying attention” and “tuning in”—and throughout the book, he encourages parents to do both. “[N]o one knows your kids and what they need better than you do,” he says. Pierce offers solutions to day-to-day problems that most parents encounter—from finding more time to give children focused and sincere attention to the impact on families of technological distractions like social media. As part of this solution-based approach, Pierce emphasizes the importance of developing empathy for a child’s emotional health. In order for a child to feel compassion, the author believes, he or she needs to be treated with compassion. The wide-ranging guide comprises 12 chapters, including “Raising Perfect Kids? Careful What You Wish For,” which discusses the benefit of allowing your child some autonomy; “Maxed Out Minds: The Impact of Technology on Growing Kids”; and “When ‘Good’ Kids Behave Badly.” Pierce understands the significance that technology plays in the lives of children growing up today but wants parents to understand that “[w]hatever rules you make for your family, the goal is to teach kids how to master technology without it mastering them.” Pierce believes that giving a child more attention can be something that helps the entire family. His suggestions are straightforward—don’t text while your child is talking to you, for example, and make time to spend with your teenagers rather than expecting them to schedule you into their routine—but that’s what makes them so helpful and manageable. One of the book’s main strengths is that Pierce acknowledges, without judgment or condemnation, the many distractions that both parents and kids face in this modern technological age. The author doesn’t point fingers or belittle the reader but rather offers encouragement and support.

Reminds parents that much of their power and influence resides in listening and paying attention.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-0615703602

Page Count: 112

Publisher: The Attunetion Approach

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2013



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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