Teacher Walther’s real, poignant anecdotes about her preschool students illustrate and support her advice on interacting with young children.
As the title suggests, Walther advocates the benefits of respectfully interacting with children at their level, both physically, by adjusting to face them at their eye line, and emotionally, by viewing situations in terms of their young perceptions. With testimonials included to support her methods, Walther focuses on the consistent practice of providing constant love, respect, honor and encouragement. Parents can refer to the book for guidance to constructively modify immediate behavior problems, but the lessons are designed to additionally develop lifelong social and academic behaviors. Because of the effective narrative structure, the reader typically has a decent understanding of the concepts and techniques even before getting to Walther’s research-based explanation. She first illustrates her methods by sharing actual stories from her preschool work that successfully (and often humorously) convey the undesirable behavior or emotional struggles of the child, the methodical response from the adult and the thought process that leads the children to improved behavior. The methods encourage the children to come to their own conclusions by understanding the consequences of their behaviors, both positive and negative, as opposed to simply being told to follow rules. The lessons illustrated in the stories are then concisely supported by research and science. The reference-style format of the book, with its detailed topic index and a table of contents that provides a synopsis for each chapter, allows readers to quickly flip to sections that might relate to their child’s particular behavior. Parents reading the book will spend a great deal of time reflecting on their own behavior, even beyond the parent-child dynamic, because Walther’s approaches can also be interpreted as simply a proper, caring, kind way for people to treat each other in general.
A useful guide for parents who should read this all the way through once and then keep it close for reference.