Between Parent and Child – Book Review
Between Parent and Child was originally written by clinical psychologist Dr. Haim G Ginott in 1965. In 2003, the book was revised and updated by the late Ginott’s wife, also a clinical psychologist, Dr. Alice Ginott, along with Dr. H. Wallace Goddard. The cover of this book states that it is a best-selling classic with over 5-million copies sold. For this reason, I figured it was worth a read.
This book focuses on parent-child communication and provides the readers with several examples of common parent-child interactions and situations that may arise, along with healthy ways in which parents could respond in the given situations. I found this book to be a quick read and very engaging.
This author works from the theory that parenting is a skill that can be learned and that parents should put forth the effort required to learn how to communicate effectively with children without falling into self-defeating patterns. These patterns include threats, bribes, promises, sarcasm, verbal overkill, sermons on lying and stealing, and rude teaching of politeness.
While the communication skills can apply to diverse age groups, there were many sections that I felt applied mainly to older children. From an attachment parenting standpoint, I am not sure that I agree that children should not receive parental help with homework once they reach first grade. The book claims that in order to teach responsibility, the children need to be solely responsible for their schoolwork and that parents should not serve as tutors to their children. For those who homeschool, this section may seem a bit off-putting, but the rest of the book is still full of a wealth of information about positive communication between parents and children and is definitely worth a read.
There is a chapter about various anxieties that children may experience and suggestions on how to provide children with emotional security. This book provides readers with a step-by-step application of the principles of empathetic communication and a summary of the parenting skills that are taught throughout the book. There is also a section that discusses traumatized children or those who may benefit from professional therapy. All in all, this book provides a wealth of great information about parenting and recognizes that all children are different and will respond to parenting practices differently.
In the back of the book there are several great resources for parents who would like additional reading material. Plus, there is a section where psychotherapists are interviewed about their own parenting practices. This is eye-opening since, as most of us would admit, many aspects of parenting are easier said than done!
I checked this book out for free from my local library and was not compensated in any way for this review.
If you are interested in learning more, you can buy this book from Amazon