Inner Parent : Raising Ourselves, Raising Our Children
- Hardback | 234 pages
- 152.4 x 228.6 x 20.32mm | 113.4g
- 04 Oct 1979
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P
- New York, United Kingdom
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"The best thing to read when trying to raise a child is the child," this agreeably reflective book begins, and the knowing but modest authors, suspicious of conflicting "expert" advice, proceed to approach parenthood in a new way: not by following a child's developmental stages or suggesting situational dialogues but by exploring areas of parental involvement and skill. Thus they start off with parental fantasies, identifying the ideal parent we construct ("Before I had a child I vowed I would never act some of the ways I saw other parents acting"), the shadow parent we carry along, and the one who continues to revise expectations in light of experience. Also considered: the current revolution in attitudes, especially toward childbirth (which may turn into yet another form of self-expression), and the art of balancing needs, at the start and as the family matures. In a section on clarifying values, the authors suggest that identifying one's values is not the difficulty: the confusion comes from trying to pass them along to children for whom peer group and TV influences, as Uric Bronfenbrenner has observed, often dominate. Using personal comments, interviews with other parents (Isaacs founded San Francisco's Early Learning Center), snatches of parent poetry and journal entries, they define and describe a process which requires regular accommodation, adjustments springing from instinct and inner resources. And they do so, somewhat remarkably, without the millennial cadences of the vanguard books or the flat tones of the research books. Parents may find this too highbrow, even a bit alien, as a first or only guide, but for those confounded by Spock and White or Ginott and Gesell, it offers hip-pocket truths in a fresh arrangement. (Kirkus Reviews)