POWER TO THE PARENTS: A Common-Sense Psychology of Child Raising for the 70's by Joseph & Lois Bird

POWER TO THE PARENTS: A Common-Sense Psychology of Child Raising for the 70's

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Birds' central contention -- that parents should assume responsibility for the values and actions of their children through monitored awareness and supervision -- is a respectable and increasingly popular view. However their case is weakened by scare rhetoric, more alarms than practical excursions in method, and simplistic generalities. In presenting their thesis the authors call up a host of demons, headed by ""self-styled experts"" (never named); ""Propagandists. . .(who say) any deviation from the tribal mores of the robots, any attempt to assert individuality is a crime against society."" The Birds reserve their greatest scorn for the schools and the emphasis on ""mediocrity."" ""Keep in mind you're the expert,"" and keep away from involved PTA's. When the Birds are holed up at home with the family the dicta are not too far from the mainstream: rewards and punishment reinforcement; communication lines kept open; family outings; working toward the child's positive self-image. One might question the rigidity of homework supervision and dating rules but most readers will be stumped by the Birds' (who have aimed other books at a Catholic audience) logical conclusion to their belief in pragmatic individualism: ""We teach (the children) to reject any philosophy which holds that the purpose of one's life is to serve others in a life of sacrifice."" Like Christianity?

Pub Date: April 7th, 1972
Publisher: Doubleday