A focused parenting guidebook, aimed at Latino and African-American audiences.
At one point in their fast-paced, thoughtful work, Campbell (Raising Your Child To Be Gifted, 2005, etc.) and debut author Harewood quote one of Barack Obama’s speeches from 2004: “Parents have to parent; the children can’t achieve unless we raise expectations, turn off the television sets, and eradicate the slander that says a Black youth with a book is acting White.” It’s in many ways a keynote theme for the book as a whole. In it, the authors lay out a no-nonsense and fairly tough-minded plan, laying out “what successful African American and Latino parents do.” They stress academics first and foremost, and advise readers on ways to maximize their children’s school experience. The authors urge parents to create what they call “academic home climates” based on guiding principles, or “kernels,” such as “I expect my child to view school as important” and “Don’t do their work for them.” Such climates, they assert, can “upgrade their children’s academic productivity by 20 to 30 percent.” This pragmatic emphasis runs throughout the book, and the authors render it all in clear, accessible language. Sometimes, they go against modern, permissive parenting trends to insist, for example, that life is about more than just doing what one feels like doing. They also make allowances for the fact that it takes time to turn around counterproductive parenting approaches, and that parents can’t accomplish such changes overnight. They also repeatedly ask parents to think about how they blend their own expectations with their children’s personal interests. But their focus is still hard-edged: “Exceptional parents concentrate on getting their children to work now,” they write. “They leave independence for later.” Parents interested in doing further research can also delve into the extensive documentation that the authors provide.
A direct, powerful manual for greater parental involvement.