Parenting strategies for the modern family with real-world examples.
Using her many decades of experience teaching preschoolers, Walther (Eye to Eye: Volume 2, 2011) has written a cogent book for parenting children ages 3-5. As a companion to three other volumes addressing a wide range of behavior strategies and learning tools, this book works well. Walther tackles some of the most challenging and nebulous zones of child development—cooperation, learning, major family changes, risk-taking and skills for success. Throughout, the author displays a tremendous love and respect for the children and families she’s worked with over the years, and her students’ success stories serve as validation of her methods. As with other modern books on parenting, Walther’s main strategy involves treating children as small, reasonable versions of adults by providing them with choices and helping them engage with the world. One familiar strategy for avoiding confrontation is to give children controlled choices; for example, ask the child “[w]ould you rather wear this blue shirt today or the red one?” instead of giving him or her the directive to get dressed. Other familiar methods include giving a child easy-to-follow instructions for proper behavior and providing clear consequences if they don’t follow them. Cooperation proves a challenge for most, and Walther’s tactic of asking silly questions about where socks and shoes go by trying them on her hands, for example, may have limited success. This challenge notwithstanding, Walther’s latest addition to her parenting series showcases all the strengths of the previous volumes: clear instruction coupled with stories about actual children and parents. Not many parenting books can boast the longevity of this one; children discussed in the text as toddlers show up in later chapters as adults with children of their own practicing the same strategies with which they were parented!
A bighearted parenting manual written by a caregiver with decades of experience.