RAISING CHILDREN IN A DIFFICULT TIME by

RAISING CHILDREN IN A DIFFICULT TIME

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Dr. Spock, whose Baby and Child Care raised a good portion of the American young, is an honest, and, while flexible in such matters as changing sex roles, an ornery man. Those who appreciate his disciplinary tenets (good manners, parental firmness, beliefs and ideals, the importance of marriage) are often those who have incorrectly blamed the commonsensical Spock for ""permissiveness,"" and those who feel sympathetic to his politics may balk at the accent on orderly decorum. But Dr. Spook will not be moved from his stance which he himself describes as ""a conservative life style and radical politics."" Love is still, as it was in Baby and Child Care, the moving force in child rearing, but he smokes out the pitfalls of misinterpretation: ""Parental overemphasis (sic) doesn't really express an overabundance of love, but anxiety about whether there is enough showing."" The most common problem in child training today is the parents' fear of being firm, of expressing expectations for their young which reflect their own training, instincts and morality. He plumps for good ""surface"" manners (there's enough meanness in the world), sex education subordinate to the picture children form of the overall relationship of the parents, and never tampering with the ""natural idealization process of children."" In these articles, portions of which have been published in Redbook, Spock takes on an enormous range of subjects: methods of ""control,"" how to handle grief, divorce, special problems, religion, drug use, the position of grandparents, and parental roles (share the work and the pleasures). Because of some slovenly editing there are numerous repetitions, and the organization is loose indeed, but Dr. Spook -- unlike some of his contemporaries -- has never lost his hold on the reality of the needs, minds, and personalities of children. As always, Dr. Spock is important.

Pub Date: March 25th, 1974
Publisher: Norton