A bighearted parenting manual written by a caregiver with decades of experience.
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.
Pub Date: Nov. 11, 2014
Page Count: 152
Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2015
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Jessica Handler ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 1, 2009
A heartfelt, painful family saga, skillfully told by a survivor.
Essayist Handler debuts with a memoir of loving sibling bonds cruelly interrupted.
The author’s eight-year-old sister Susie died of leukemia in 1969, when Handler was ten. Their sister Sarah had been ill since infancy with Kostmann’s Syndrome, a bone-marrow disorder like leukemia, but much more rare; she died at age 27 in 1992. Yet Susie and Sarah were at her 1998 wedding, the author avers. They remain vividly present in memory, appearing in the waking reveries and sleeping dreams of their healthy sibling. The girls’ parents were liberal Yankee Jews transplanted to suburban Atlanta in the ’60s. They lived with their children on “a lush street where professors and doctors grew big gardens and tied bandannas around the necks of their Irish setters.” Dad, a crusading labor lawyer, was terrified by his daughters’ illnesses. He went a bit mad, was hospitalized, fled to the Far East and then returned for a divorce. (Perhaps, Handler muses, Dad was angry with her for having a future.) Mom pretended all was well, but the entire family was plunged into darkness by the deaths of two daughters. The author’s stark, lucid prose probes what those losses did to her parents and to her. Handler moved from Atlanta’s Coca-Cola society to the coke culture of Los Angeles. She maintained a journal and kept pertinent ephemera. In 2004-05, she obtained and pored over copious medical files on her sisters’ symptoms, medications and clinical trials. With a sure grasp of revelatory detail, the author recalls homely verities from a vanished life. Her memory piece is an elegy for her dead sisters, who are not quite lost as long as they live in her thoughts.A heartfelt, painful family saga, skillfully told by a survivor.
Pub Date: April 1, 2009
Page Count: 272
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2009
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