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For the puzzled parent who has schooled herself to keep the baby on a rigid routine, with set times for feeding and for play and for cuddling, it will come as a shock that these very regulations may have something to do with her six year olds unruly nature, his hatred of conforming. For the parent who has learned to hide her own angers behind a false front, to conceal differences with her husband ""before the children"", to assume that she has a right to expect surface behavior in public from her child, it will be frightening to learn that only by exploring the emotions behind the actions, and allowing the child to see behind her own falsities can permanent damage be avoided. Differentiate between actions and feelings. Prevention is better than cure, but even in adolescence, healing can be achieved by understanding, by bolstering a sense of achievement. First handle feelings- then actions. Dr. Baruch, with constant use of specific instances by way of illustration, shows how to help children (yes, and parents) to ""let out badness"" -- that goodness may be let in. She discusses the dangers of both punishments and rewards; urges instead shared good feelings and appreciation. She suggests that conformity will come better through observation, if the parents set the right example! She goes into the first contacts with the infant, the new plan for ""rooming-in"", enjoying the baby from the start; she raises the points of new discipline in relation to thumb sucking, masturbation, jealousy of a new baby, boy-girl relationships, and so on. Perhaps the most constructive section deals with concrete suggestions as to providing outlet activities. The ""new discipline"" calls for sympathy, acceptance, faith. For understanding ourselves as well as our children, recognizing the universality of mean feelings which need release, which will take the wrong way if not shown the right. A controversial book at some points. But it offers much that is salutary, constructive. The Lois Fisher drawings have a symbolic quality with underlying humor and understanding.

Pub Date: May 19th, 1949
Publisher: Whittlesey House