PARENT POWER: A Guide to Responsible Childrearing by Logan Wright

PARENT POWER: A Guide to Responsible Childrearing

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Back to the behavioral approach to child-rearing; this calm, sometimes tongue-in-cheek guide for parents is ""founded on the belief that children need adult leadership and that parents must take charge of their children before they can love and support them."" The author, Director of the Division of Pediatric Psychology at the University of Oklahoma Medical School, presents principles of child-rearing based on principles of behavior: behavior that is rewarded tends to be repeated, behavior that is rewarded in others tends to be imitated, and so on. Completely discarded is the approach of ""Find out what the child needs, meet that need, and the problem will go away""--trying to figure out why a child does something, says Wright, is ""often a waste of time."" Wright cites Lovaas' studies with autistic children to support his emphasis on behavioral techniques rather than attitudes, psychological needs, unconscious forces, or psychodynamics. There is plenty of room for argument here--in, for instance, the use of a token or money reward system for good behavior (affection is scrupulously ruled out as a reward) and the qualified endorsement of spanking or slapping. There are, moreover, too-brief chapters on sex education, drug abuse (parents must be good role models), moral and religious upbringing, single parents (headed for trouble), and terminally ill children; we are left wanting to know much more about Wright's approach to these questions. So: readers will find gaps and worse. But this remains a responsible, clear explanation of the behavioral approach to childrearing, blessed with an undercurrent of humor.

Pub Date: March 25th, 1980
Publisher: Morrow