WHAT EVERY CHILD NEEDS by Lillian & Richard Peairs


Email this review


Much of child care theory appears to be of a revisionist nature, concerning itself with correcting the errors committed by the previous generation. These authors, for instance, believe that many children's problems stem from the difficulties parents have ""in freeing themselves from their own early (authoritarian) learning which may have been less than desirable."" Despite conflicting approaches, however, everyone agrees that children need love, comfort, respect, good handling and self-confidence. Lack of belief in one's own worth, in fact, is held accountable nowadays for all kinds of personality disorders. Building self-esteem, then, from infancy to early adolescence, is the main focus of this idealistic and specific book on child psychology. The Peairs' approach is permissive and flexible. For parents familiar with Spock they do not represent a radical departure though there are differences. Their method of handling problems, that is, seeing situations from the child's point of view, echoes Haim Ginott. They claim, however, that they are bringing together information inaccessible to the general reader when actually a good deal of what they advocate can be found on the women's pages and in magazines every other day. Still, most parents will find this book supportive. Unfortunately, according to the laws of Parkinsonian pessimism, those most likely to profit by it are those least likely to read it.

Pub Date: April 10th, 1974
Publisher: Harper & Row