TO LIVE AS FAMILY: An Experience of Love and Bonding by Joseph & Lois Bird Bird

TO LIVE AS FAMILY: An Experience of Love and Bonding

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An all-out pitch for the importance and virtues of the ""traditional family."" Two parents are better than one, say the Birds (Freedom to Live, Sexual Loving, Power to the Parents, etc.). A parent should be at the door after school--even to greet high-schoolers. Contemporary practices and institutions--including some of the most revered--erode the strength of the family. (""Church membership has encouraged separate, distinct affiliations. . .""; ""if parents assume their responsibilities as parents, can they expect a Boy Scout leader to offer more to their children?"") To strengthen the beleaguered family, the Birds dwell on ""bonding""--a concept that gets fuzzier and fuzzier, however, as it breaks down into ""task"" bonding (to diminish sibling rivalry as well, tell the young ones to go out and weed the lawn together); ""membership"" bonding (""there is gratification which comes from membership in any select group""); ""identity"" bonding (empathy--and ""on another level of complexity, the temptation most of us have from time to time to 'name-drop' ""); and ""reciprocal"" emotional-support bonding (""you dried my tears yesterday, I'll dry yours today""). For everyday guidance, the Birds stick to the tried-and-true--family meals are opportunities for both loving and learning, values are best taught in the context of real-life events, etc. The book is distinguished, indeed, only by its fortress-mentality--a dubious way to raise responsible and caring children.

Pub Date: March 19th, 1982
Publisher: Doubleday