Book Review by Christine Yablonski from Living the Unschooling Life Blog
Most parents want the best for their kids. Most parents want to see them grow up and become happy, successful, independent adults who can then raise their own children. Yet most parents use parenting methods that actually inhibit their children’s ability to develop the life skills that lead to these goals.
Teresa Graham Brett has written a book for parents who have the best intentions to develop a loving parenting style, yet fall into the trap of coercion, control & fear-based decisions. It’s a lot to take in, especially if you are a parent who began as Brett did (& as I did) as an “attachment parent” because she challenges the presumption that the attachment parenting philosophy is an ideal way to parent. In fact, as Brett outlines (& I discovered during my own parenting experiences) even this gentler, kinder way of parenting uses control and coercion to enforce desired child behaviors.
Brett does an excellent job discussing how our societal norms completely dominate children & their own personal rights. Things we would never dream of doing to an adult we routinely do to children with the admonishment that it is for their own good. Brett uses historical information showing that even with the progress made in children’s rights, we still, as a society, have a very long way to go.
I recognized much of my own journey in Brett’s writing. Her style of writing is that of a warm, encouraging and very knowledgeable friend. She also includes suggested reading to further your journey as a parent.
I highly recommend Parenting for Social Change – I think the subheading captures her sentiment beautifully: Transform Childhood, Transform the World.