Academic journal article Pre- and Peri-natal Psychology Journal

"I'll Never Do to My Kids What My Parents Did to Me": A Guide to Conscious Parenting

Academic journal article Pre- and Peri-natal Psychology Journal

"I'll Never Do to My Kids What My Parents Did to Me": A Guide to Conscious Parenting

Article excerpt

"I'll Never Do to My Kids What My Parents Did to Me": A Guide to Conscious Parenting by Thomas Paris, Ph.D. & Eileen Paris, Ph.D., Lowell House/Contemporary Books, Chicago, 1992, 146 pages, $18.95 (hardcover).

"I'll Never Do to My Kids What My Parents Did to Me": A Guide to Conscious Parenting is partly the story of Thomas Paris and Eileen Paris as divorced co-parents of their mutual son, Seth, and of Thomas' relationship with Adam, his older son by a previous marriage. The book is partly a testimonial to the workability of a nontraditional parenting style being used to raise two decent, competent sons.

Besides being a record of personal journeys, the book is a useful primer in parenting issues for parents who are genuinely committed to their children's happiness, but who lack viable models for communicating with their children. The book is also a compendium of pop-psych concepts of the last 25 years. "I'll Never Do To My Children What My Parents Did To Me" . . . is not likely to improve a clinician's knowledge base or skills, but it is a book practitioners could recommend to parents who have little knowledge of bonding, mirroring, and active listening skills for use with already-verbal children.

Unfortunately, the book is overly facile in several basic assumptions: The most serious over-generalization is the idea that "It is important to bear in mind that all parents want to make their children happy." Possibly, among those parents who go voluntarily for parent counselling and/or attend parenting workshops, there is a shared assumption that all parents want to make their children happy.

The assumption that all parents want their children to be happy defines the limitations of the book. Most of us believe Sigmund Freud was probably correct hi ascribing much human behavior to subconscious motives. …

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