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A Good Enough Parent : A Book on Child-Rearing Paperback – March 12, 1988


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (March 12, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394757769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394757766
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Bettelheim doesn't offer another "how-to" book on childrearing but explores the vast complexity and richness of the parent-child relationship. From a psychoanalytic perspective, he discusses such topics as anxiety, school performance, discipline, fantasy, and adolescent rebellion, with an extended section on play and competition. He focuses on the child's struggle toward selfhood, with its conflicting currents of love and anger. The key to being a "good enough" parent is to explore relational needs and motivations; it is more valuable to understand emotions than to be "perfect" parents of "perfect" children. While denser reading than most parenting books, this is worth the effort for parents as well as professionals who work with families.Amy Goffman, Children's Rehabilitation Ctr., Charlottesville, Va.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

In this book, the preeminent child psychologist of our time gives us the results of his lifelong effort to determine what is most crucial in successful child-rearing. His purpose is not to give parents preset rules for raising their children, but rather to show them how to develop their own insights so that they will understand their own and their children's behavior in different situations and how to cope with it. Above all, he warns, parents must not indulge their impulse to try to create the child they would like to have, but should instead help each child fully develop into the person he or she would like to be.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Kimberley Clayton Blaine, MA, MFT on January 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a sophisticated read - but well worth it! I am a child therapist and child development specialist and believe this book to be the bible of healthy child-rearing. Bettelheim is brilliant, caring and compassionate. Take time to read this prize, maybe 6 months or so. Read it slowly so that you can pick up all the messages and insights that he offers. Other great reads are Rudolf Driekers, "Children the Challenge." Try reading, Adele Faber's "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen" or Mary Kurcinka's "Kids, Parents and Power Sruggles."

Kimberley Clayton Blaine, MA, MFT
Licensed Child Therapist
founder, [...]
Author: Mommy Confidence: 8 Easy Steps to Reclaiming Balance, Motivation, and Your Inner Diva
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 1996
Format: Paperback
Marvelous book - have referred back to it many times for encouragement and reinforcement of my own parenting "beliefs". When I have grandkids, this will be my first gift to the prospective parents
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By N. Roberts on June 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently bought this book for a parent who is being challenged at their parenting skills. This book is highly reassuring. I read it many years ago when I was questioning my parenting skills with a difficult child. Although the book is written in stilted, professorial English, it is readable. The author, Bruno Bettelheim, was a world renowned and respected psychiatrist. He had escaped the Nazis and managed to get out of Germany.

No one can be a perfect parent and it isn't necessary to be perfect. Children are resilient and the parent just has to be "good enough."

If you are trying to be a good parent and feel insecure, this book will help you over the challenges and reassure you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rajbir on March 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
I had read this book 20 years ago. I still remember it as a most understanding and compassionate book. I had highlighted so many of its passages. Some people ruin the reputation of a good book or an author by giving one star. This book certainly deserves 5 stars. I don't think the author is with us but he came across as a good human being.
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