Sage words, but tough love, for mothers and fathers.


Your Living Legacy


A guide to better parenting through self-assessment.

Chosak is a mother of three with a doctorate in psychology, and a licensed psychotherapist specializing in mother-daughter relationships. Her debut draws on these experiences, as well as the work of psychologist Erik Erikson, therapist Virginia Satir, and others, to present various “styles” of parenting, defined as “typical ways of interacting with your child, especially when you are under stress.” The book begins with general concepts in family psychology, which underpin the whole book. Chosak looks at Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development, how parenting norms are passed down through generations, and how notions of unconditional love, bonding, boundaries, and letting go influence parenting. Much of this material can be found in other parenting and psychology books, but the short chapters, clear writing, and abundant examples here make Chosak’s a valuable reference. The majority of the work is devoted to a comprehensive “Parenting Styles Inventory”—20 chapters outlining 20 different styles. For each, the author describes its effects on children and provides anecdotes; offers a rating scale to help readers recognize the style in themselves, their spouses, and their parents; and delivers helpful tips for strengthening or curtailing behaviors. Most of the styles are “seemingly dysfunctional,” such as those of the critical, smothering, helpless, jealous, or user parent. But, with some exceptions, such as abusive parenting, which is “never warranted,” Chosak urges readers to aim for objectivity, yet also remain compassionate in their assessments of themselves. She clearly believes that all parents have the best intentions and that they all, on occasion, fall into several of these styles. Indeed, most parents will find mirrors of themselves, as well as good advice, throughout these chapters. But although compassion is a reassuring goal, objectivity can be difficult to achieve. Chosak deliberately presents “extreme examples” of each style, which are meant to be illustrative but may be too stark to allow for genuine self-evaluation. The laissez-faire, for instance, as described here, “seems not to care at all about her child,” while the user parent is said to see “her child as a pawn.” Although Chosak acknowledges that “the biggest challenge will be honesty,” ticking such boxes may be more alarming than some readers bargain for.

Sage words, but tough love, for mothers and fathers.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62287-959-5

Page Count: 188

Publisher: First Edition Design Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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