The Parenting Bible: The Answers to Parents' Most Common Questions

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9781570719073: The Parenting Bible: The Answers to Parents' Most Common Questions

All in one place for the first time, parents can find answers to the many questions that come up all through a childhood.

--Should I pick my baby up when he cries?
--How much babyproofing do I need to do?
--What should I do about temper tantrums?
--Is my child too dependent on me?
--Can too much praise backfire?
--How can I enhance my child's self-image?
--Should I give an allowance?
--How should I handle fads with my pre-teen and teenager?
--Can my older child stay alone after school?

Answers to these and hundreds of other questions (more than 200 in all) are given in a thoughtful and balanced manner, allowing parents to choose the solution that will work best for them and their family. Topics cover the age ranges from birth to age 13, and are the questions most often asked of the author as a parenting consultant and educator.

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About the Author:

Robin Goldstein, Ph.D., is a specialist in child and adolescent development and a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University and at University of Virginia. She frequently leads seminars on parenting for corporations, and has been a guest on radio and television programs on NPR, Fox News, CNN, CBS, and others. As a private consultant, she advises educators on improving schools and helps parents with the everyday challenges of raising children. Dr. Goldstein has also contributed to parenting articles in magazines including Redbook, Working Mother, Parents, Good Housekeeping, Lifetime, ePregnancy, American Baby, and Child.

Janet Gallant is a writer specializing in family issues and education. She is the author of several books, and is also a faculty member at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. Janet Gallant and her husband have two sons.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction

"Should I pick my baby up when he cries?"
"Do I always have to be consistent?"
"Why won't my child cooperate in the morning?"
"How can I teach my child to be more responsible?"
"Are all thirteen-year-olds so embarrassed by their parents?"

Raising children is a vitally important job that can be difficult, demanding, and exciting all at the same time. Inevitably, you'll have mixed emotions as your child grows. You'll feel joy as he becomes more independent, but you'll also feel some doubt. Often, your questions will range from the mundane (clean-up, time on the phone, arguments over hairstyles) to the complex (teaching right from wrong, sibling rivalry, dealing with divorce), to the truly frightening (gun violence, drugs, and alcohol).

The Parenting Bible answers the questions parents have asked me most frequently in my twenty years in practice advising parents and educators on childhood development. It fills the "support gap" created as traditional sources of advice and information--the nearby family, the at-home neighbors--have disappeared. Here, you'll find workable solutions to problems as well as insights into children's thinking, based on the work of renowned child development researcher Jean Piaget.

You'll also find a great deal of reassurance. As you learn about typical experiences and the predictable stages of development (as defined by psychosocial theorist Erik Erikson), you'll find that most of your child's behavior is perfectly normal. All toddlers are strong-willed, all seven-year-olds need frequent reminders, all early adolescents are moody. You'll be able to form realistic expectations. In turn, you'll eliminate many of the conflicts that come from anticipating, for example, that your three-year-old will act as a four- or five-year-old would, or that your twelve-year-old will show mature judgment with peers.

This book encourages you to spend time with your child, listening to him, setting limits, and taking an interest in him. He will benefit in every way and at every stage from your love and active involvement. Even if some or most of his care is provided by others, parenting, of course, is truly your responsibility. Therefore, the answers in The Parenting Bible are addressed to you, the parent, although the advice applies to all the caregivers, teachers, and other adults involved in your child's life.

The questions and answers are arranged first by kids' age groups: Part I--The First Five Years; Part II--The Six- to Nine-Year-Old; and Part III--The Ten- to Thirteen-Year-Old. Within age groups, questions are arranged by major issues. Each question and answer is self-contained, so you can begin reading anywhere. Since many of the topics complement each other, you'll gain a fuller understanding if you read everything in a particular section.

You also can follow a topic through the three age groups. For instance, sibling relationships appear in Part I as "How can I help my children get along with each other?"; in Part II as "What should I do about sibling rivalry?"; and in Part III as "Why is my daughter jealous of her siblings?" The answers are age-appropriate but will be helpful regardless of how old your child is. Likewise, some issues, such as adjusting to a blended family, appear only once but are clearly useful at any developmental stage.

The questions and answers alternate genders so that an article about "he" is usually followed by an article about "she." However, the answers for the most part apply to either gender. Similarly, the answers generally speak of parents dealing with one child, but the advice is applicable to families with any number of children.

Getting specific answers to your child-rearing questions is important because you want to do the best you can for your child. Your day-to-day actions and attitudes can guide his character and behavior in positive ways. The challenging job of parenting requires love, sacrifice, time, and attention, and you deserve all the help and encouragement you can get. The Parenting Bible acknowledges your natural frustrations and uncertainty and gives you reassurance and answers to make parenting easier, more successful, and more enjoyable.

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