WHOLE-LIFE PARENTING by James & Mary Kenny Kenny


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Basic, gimmick-free guidance on child discipline and development. The Kennys--parents of twelve and co-authors of a syndicated column, ""Family Talk""--take the attitude that ""the successful parent is one who does himself out of a job""; to that end, they advocate a ""positive"" rather than an ""authoritarian"" approach to discipline. This means taking concrete preventive measures (like planning transitions to bedtime--or teaching a four-year-old how to do the dishes) and adopting some time-honored precepts here called the TRIP method: Target desired behaviors, Reward them, Ignore undesirable behaviors, and Punish only occasionally. To help parents know what to expect at various ages and stages, seven chapters are devoted to current thinking on child development. (James Kenny is also a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at St. Joseph's College.) Each includes descriptions of typical issues and possible parental responses: ""mobility and the need to explore"" between one and three-and-a-half; ""siblings, peers, and fighting"" between eight and eleven; ""what parents cannot control""--i.e. behavior away from home--between twelve and 15; ""the case for independence"" between 16 and 18. The Kennys advocate a firm and reasonable curfew as the best way of limiting potential problems with sex, alcohol, and drugs; behond that, they are in favor of parents' providing contraceptive information and serving as models of moderate drinking, and they oppose the use of marijuana by young people. A solid overview with a broad, middle-of-the-road appeal.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1982
Publisher: Continuum