Ramos' advice on the major and minor upheavals and traumas in a child's life is a composite of ""the very latest legal and psychiatric opinion"" even if latest doesn't always mean wisest. Generally she and the experts are agreed that honesty is the best policy. . . except when it isn't. When confronted with serious illness or death in the family a child should be encouraged to express his anger, fear and confusion so that parents can provide reassurance and comfort; if someone close to him has died he should be allowed what Anna Freud called ""the work of mourning""--though some parents might recoil from bringing a youngster for daily visits to a terminally ill patient. Curiously, the truth-telling doesn't extend to adoption and Ramos seems to swing with the current backlash against telling the truth to an adopted child for fear be will be ""devastated""--which doesn't tell you what to do if the child is devastated because he learned the facts from the offhand remark of a neighbor or relative. For the most part the rest of the advice tendered here is sensible and candid enough even when it comes to conveying such delicate information as ""Most men prefer to live with women, but Daddy prefers men.