Insightful parenting tips for achieving understanding, empathy and healthy human development.

In this warm, wise and often witty book, debut author Hulton offers clearheaded insights and methods she’s learned while counseling exhausted, perplexed parents as a mental health counselor and psychoanalyst. This six-part handbook’s most valuable attributes are its lack of condescension and its nonauthoritarian mission “to teach all parents to trust empathy and in so doing to break out of Parent Fatigue Syndrome.” That syndrome, she writes, is caused by relying on “conventional wisdom”—the “spare the rod, spoil the child” tradition and trendy contemporary advice that stresses achievements and can make parents feel like failures. Concise, explicit information will enable readers to develop individualized practices. The author discusses children’s essential needs, developmental milestones (such as attachment and breaking away) and ideal school experiences (such as the individualistic Reggio Emilia approach). She also includes practical, fun therapy methods (such as sock puppets and sand trays), plus an index. “There really is no one way to parent,” claims Hulton, and she sprinkles generous references throughout to works by child development experts such as Haim Ginott, Robert Karen, T. Berry Brazelton, Penelope Leach and Maggie Scarf. Mindful of recent school shootings, she stresses the importance of raising compassionate global citizens and recognizing the societal danger of “empathy erosion.” Empathy, she says, doesn’t mean excusing or accepting bad behavior: “It is the reflection of another’s emotional experience so that they feel understood—understood well enough to feel that they are part of the world in which they live so that alienation does not become a slowly spreading cancer in their soul.”

A highly recommended work that shows that parenting can be a rewarding lifetime investment that pays great dividends not only to caregivers, but also to society.

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2013

ISBN: 978-0989841726

Page Count: 187

Publisher: Studio Owls Inc.

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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