Children Are from Heaven: Positive Parenting Skills for Raising Cooperative, Confident, and Compassionate Children

Gray, John

Published by Harper Perennial
ISBN 10: 0060930993 / ISBN 13: 9780060930998
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This brilliantly original and practical system for parenting children is the brainchild of John Gray, whose Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus books and seminars have helped millions of adults communicate more effectively and lovingly with each other. Based on this idea that children respond better to positive rather than negative reinforcement, the Children Are from Heaven program concentrates on rewarding, not punishing, children and fostering their innate desire to please their parents.

Central to this approach are the five positive messages your children need to learn again and again:

It's okay to be different.
It's okay to make mistakes.
It's okay to express negative emotions.
It's okay to want more.
It's okay to say no, but remember Mom and Dad are the bosses.

Review: Psychologist John Gray (he of Men Are from Mars... fame) cites a need to shift from "fear-based parenting" (a punitive and oppressive approach to child rearing) to "love-based parenting" (which accepts children's desires and negative emotions while still setting reasonable limits). With child and teen violence increasing, rampant low self-esteem, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and attention deficit disorder, he says, "the Western free world is experiencing a crisis in parenting. Almost all parents today are questioning both the old and the new ways of parenting. Nothing seems to be working."

He suggests "Five Messages of Positive Parenting" that will facilitate such a shift:

  1. It's okay to be different.
  2. It's okay to make mistakes.
  3. It's okay to express negative emotions.
  4. It's okay to want more.
  5. It's okay to say no, but remember mom and dad are the bosses.

Although his parenting philosophy is not necessarily revolutionary (think "positive discipline"), Gray manages to keep this parenting primer contemporary by weaving in specific challenges of new-millennium families--such as our tendency to be consumer-driven and overscheduled. "When parents learn what their children really need, they are less motivated to create money to acquire things and more motivated to create time to enjoy their family," Gray writes. "The greatest wealth for a parent today is time." --Gail Hudson

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Children Are from Heaven: Positive Parenting...
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Good

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