Has raising children become more difficult, or are parents unnecessarily alarmed by the constant stream of stories and statistics in the media? How do those reports relate to their children? What’s fact? What’s exaggeration, or misinterpretation?
About the Author
Debra W. Haffner has been a parenting educator for more than twenty-five years, regularly speaks to parent groups across the country, and appears frequently on national TV, including CNN, Today, and The O’Reilly Factor. She holds a Master’s in Public Health from Yale University School of Medicine and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. She is an ordained minister with the Unitarian Church in Westport, Connecticut.
“Debra Haffner shows terrific sensitivity to the developmental needs of teens and the anxieties of parents with adolescents.” —John Santelli, M.D., Chair, Dept. of Population and Family Health, Columbia University School of Public Health
“Haffner encourages modern parents…Reading this book made me feel better about the choices I’ve made as a mom.” —Lisa Birnbach, radio show host, author of 1,003 Great Things About Kids and The Official Preppy Handbook
“Parents could not ask for a better guide…Will help families understand what works best to keep children safe and strong.” —Nell Minow, “The Movie Mom,” Beliefnet.com
“Smart, compassionate, practical…This essential guide pulls no punches about the difficulties and joys of parenting today.” —Jane Fonda
“This book empowers parents [with] buckets of practical advice from child development research, public health, faith traditions, and sexuality education.” —Karen Hein, M.D., Former President, William T. Grant Foundation
“Will appeal to all parents, whether conservative or liberal. No-nonsense advice will help parents give their values to their children.” —Rev. Bob Edgar, President of Common Cause, Former General Secretary of the National Council of Churches
Haffner (From Diapers to Dating), an ordained Unitarian minister, isn’t afraid to tackle the big questions, including drinking, drugs and teen sex. But while Haffner “tells it like it is,” she also presents the research and statistics to prove that many of parents’ worst fears are unfounded. Instead of a media-hyped view of the challenges parents face in the 21st century, Haffner concludes that most kids are on the right track; in fact, she claims that they are “smart, committed, and engaged in their families and communities,” and that they are making better choices about health and related issues than many of their parents did at the same age. The author stresses that parenting style can have a significant impact on whether kids go down undesirable roads. Utilizing what she calls the “Affirming Parent” style, she offers a number of viable solutions to common problems, ranging from Internet use to overscheduling. Haffner covers a great deal of ground in this compact book; readers will appreciate her just-the-facts-please approach as well as her tendency to interpret the stats from the bright side. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Written by a veteran parent educator, author and ordained minister, this no-nonsense approach is meant to help parents deal with “real as opposed to media created challenges.” The introduction gives comfort in noting that adults have kvetched over the next generations’ behavior since the days of Socrates. The first of ten chapters seeks to reassure parents that although the modern age seems like a different world, it’s a world that has its positives for parents. The author suggests parents focus on three points: 1) Be parents first, friends second. 2) Treat your children’s accomplishments as theirs, not yours. 3) Emphasize happiness before success. Succeeding chapters discuss parents’ styles. The author addresses the affirming style of parenting; raising physically healthy children; the myth of the overscheduled generation; raising emotionally healthy children; sexually healthy children; alcohol, drugs and responsible children; abduction and sexual abuse; the electronic world; and the importance of ethics and spirituality. The book focuses on prevention of problems, rather than their solutions. It’s a down to earth, practical approach for first time parents or those who realize they need to change strategies. For parents who want to establish a parenting philosophy of their own instead of their parents’ strategy, this book is a great beginning. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
Children’s Literature – Meredith Kiger