BRINGING UP A MORAL CHILD: A New Approach for Teaching Your Child to Be Kind, Just, and Responsible by Michael & Eva Mekler Schulman

BRINGING UP A MORAL CHILD: A New Approach for Teaching Your Child to Be Kind, Just, and Responsible

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The title may mislead some potential readers who mistake it for a book on religious guidance for the young. Instead, it is a secular work on child-rearing with a studiedly neutral tone on religion: ""By moral we mean, simply, a child who strives to be kind, fair, and responsible."" The writers, two psychologists, obviously know their subject well and they deliver it at exhaustive length. The style is that of a high-level, senior-year college textbook. A comprehensive index will make it useful to the professional. The material is dense, slow-moving and requires careful reading. Schulman and Mekler teach this material in workshops across the country; this would be a useful handbook for participants in their course. A limitation of this type of advice in written form is that the presenters have to operate in an ideal world. In their examples, these writers assume that the parents are reasonable, well-educated enough to understand sometimes complex psychological precepts, and that they have no neuroses of their own--or enough emotional control to park their hang-ups outside the home. This sort of advice-giving comes across better and is more effective in workshop forms, where participants can push the idealized situations aside and get the instructors to deal with cases of real children in real families in real situations--their own. But the reader cannot, and so gets less instructional value from the material. Still, a solid and learned treatise, but of more use as a reference for family counselors and other specialists in the field than to the general reader.

Pub Date: June 15th, 1985
Publisher: Addison-Wesley