CHILD, PLEASE by Ylonda Gault Caviness


How Mama’s Old-School Lessons Helped Me Check Myself Before I Wrecked Myself
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How one woman returned to more old-fashioned parenting skills to raise her children.

In this humorous memoir, former pregnancy and parenting senior producer Caviness, a black woman raising three children while working as a writer, explores the ideas behind modern, more lenient parenting skills, contrasting with those she experienced during her childhood. Her mother and her friends didn’t “suffer the mess we put up with now,” she writes. “Of course, the culture as a whole was far more stringent. No one I knew was unfamiliar with the sting of a belt across their backside. Beyond that, though, we didn’t take out parents’ attention—or their affection—for granted.” When Caviness gave birth to her first child, she downplayed the significance of her mother’s parenting methods and followed the advice she had heard or read about so that her daughter would grow up to be a well-rounded adult. When her second child arrived, she followed the same regime but discovered she was becoming increasingly frazzled in the process. Ultimately, her third child pushed Caviness over the edge and forced her to re-examine how her mother had raised her to become the responsible person she is today. Perhaps her mother’s parenting techniques weren’t as far off base as she had originally thought. Employing intimate details of giving birth, as well as memorable encounters with her mother, both as a child and as an adult, Caviness uses her wit and sharp attitudes on being a black working mother to bring a new conversation to an old discussion: What’s the best way to raise a child? This is one woman’s introspective analysis of that age-old conundrum.

Waggish and occasionally wise, the strong-minded author delivers a potent dose of motherly advice and experience.

Pub Date: May 5th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0399169960
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Tarcher/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2015


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