BUILDING SELFESTEEM IN CHILDREN by Patricia H. & Louis M. Savary Berne


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Child-centered and, strangely enough, author-centered as well, this handbook for parents and teachers is a patchwork of conventional wisdom and contemporary psychology. As met, 63 principles are the headlines for 63 chapters; they range from the obvious (Never Embarrass Children) to the impossible (State the Positive Without Evaluating)--with lots of redundancy in between (Point Out a Child's Increasing Skill, Tell Children How Well They Are Growing, Keep a Record of Your Relationship). Psychologist Berne apparently never raises her voice in frustration or anger; instead, she advises adults to Be Careful With Your Negative Feelings (children will think you are angry or frightened because of them), to let Children Take the Lead (""I let him take the lead in the dialectical movement from the safety of academic work to the catharsis and struggle with feelings""), and to Give Rewards Out of Friendship (bubble-gum treasure hunts and redhot cinnamon candies will get you everywhere). Above all, Tell Stories About Your Life to build bridges and ""make connections."" Berne follows her own advice by recounting tales of her successes with her own children and students: Angela engineered an in-school birthday party for her (Acknowledge Children's Signs of Care); Tommy fondled her pet dog while practicing to take a test (Help Relieve Stress with Something Physical). A demonstration of the author's healthy self-esteem, but nothing new for either parent or professional.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1981
Publisher: Continuum