The expectation of stable children must be founded on a family rooted in security, safety and rational communication, according to this husband-and-wife team.
Psychotherapists MacMannis and Manchester MacMannis aim their self-help book at parents, opening with a plea that parents not expect their child to find stability or functionality in his or her life without first being given a sound home environment with each of those elements. It’s in this exchange that the authors place the onus upon the reader (the parent) to explore the family structure in terms of the system created by the authors. Following a self-evaluation to be completed by the reader, the authors walk through a series of “keys” (“Talking and Listening,” “Adapting to Change,” “Seeing the Positive,” etc.)—each a pillar in the overall foundation of healthy emotional familial relations. Peppered throughout the text are anecdotes and wisdom gained from the authors’ experiences as family therapists, and each anecdote is made relatable to the subject at hand. The authors weave popular quotations and psychological facts throughout, which teeter between complementary and distracting. Overall, the text provides a sound guide for a healthy emotional approach to any familial relationship one may encounter, be it parental or romantic. However, with such a strong introductory framing of the tools presented here as being effective in healing a family that finds itself at a breaking point, practical application is not gone into with much detail; techniques for putting the ideals set up here to use when years of poor habits don’t allow for immediate integration are glossed over in what seems to be a quick wrapping up at the end of a great deal of information, knowledge and practicum. But still there is much to be learned from this thoughtful text.
A fine guide through the emotions, challenges and proper approaches to family life for anyone on the brink of entering or already within a family unit.