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Parenting by Heart: How to Stay Connected to Your Child in a Disconnected World Revised Edition

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0738205991
ISBN-10: 0738205990
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Parenting by Heart: How to Stay Connected to Your Child in a Disconnected World + Nurturing Good Children Now: 10 Basic Skills to Protect and Strengthen Your Child's Core Self + Childhood Unbound: The Powerful New Parenting Approach That Gives Our 21st Century Kids the Authority, Love, and Listening They Need to Thrive
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Editorial Reviews Review

Based around a long-standing series of parenting workshops, Parenting by Heart aims to debunk the most common--and damaging--myths of parenthood and replace them with a flexible set of solutions that can be easily adapted to different situations. Author Ron Taffel offers a variety of innovative ideas that can change frustrating experiences for the better while relieving parents of much of the guilt we carry.

The book is based on short chapters that blow away our standard myths about "in-charge parents," "over-involved mothers and under-involved fathers," and consistently reliable methods of discipline. Rather than simply contradicting them, Taffel explains how these ideas developed and how they can be changed for the better. He describes the important roles of "Parent Protector," "Parent Chum," and "Parent Realist" and outlines the different ages that require different styles of parenting. The book is full of lively examples and basic concepts, so you'll have plenty of new ideas to replace the tired myths.

Whether Taffel is elaborating on the idea that no good discipline method is effective for more than a few days or reminiscing about bribing his daughter with cookies, the points raised in his work are refreshing and reassuring. This is one parenting book that works equally well for teens and toddlers. --Jill Lightner


"This book stands out from the crowd." -- -Parenting Magazine

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Revised edition (January 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738205990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738205991
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,265,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Award-winning journalist Melinda Blau has been researching,writing, and speaking about relationships and social trends for more than thirty years. Her latest book, Family Whispering is the fourth book in the popular Baby Whispering series. She answers readers' questions weekly at "Dear Family Whisperer" on Huffington Post.

Melinda began collaborating with the late Tracy Hogg (a.k.a., the "Baby Whisperer") in 2000 and has since given birth to three best-selling books: Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers, and The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems. Her new book, Family Whispering, guides BW fans through the next (and even trickier) phase of parenthood: working together as a family. 

In her 2009 book, Consequential Strangers: Turning Everyday Encounters into Life-Changing Moments, a collaboration with psychologist Karen L. Fingerman, Melinda looked at the opposite end of the relationship spectrum: the surprisingly vital connections that extend beyond family and close friends--a subject that took her into the world of business and marketing, the Internet and social media, health and "place making."

Melinda's more than hundred articles on families, marriage, education, health, and sexuality have been featured in highly-regarded print venues such as New York, The New York Times, Utne Reader, and the Psychotherapy Networker. For six years, she also penned "The New Family" column for Child magazine and now writes the weekly "Dear Famiy Whisperer" column for Huffington Post. She also contributes to a number of online magazines, including Psychology Today, Shareable, More, BeliefNet, and RewireMe.

Melinda's other books include: Families Apart (co-parenting after divorce) with its companion reader, Loving and Listening. She also co-wrote with: family therapist Ron Taffel (Parenting by Heart, Nurturing Good Children Now, and The Second Family); civil rights activist Myrlie Evers Williams (Watch Me Fly); researchers Christopher Hayes and Deborah Anderson (Our Turn: How Women Triumph in the Face of Divorce); and life coach and empowerment expert Barbara Biziou (Joy of Ritual and Joy of Family Rituals).

A featured guest expert on Oprah, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, and numerous other national and local TV and radio broadcasts, Melinda's writing also has been honored by a wide variety of organizations, among them, the American Psychological Association, the Children's Rights Council, the Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology, the American Legion Auxiliary "Heart of America" competition, and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Visit Melinda Blau's author page on Facebook: and follow her on Twitter: @melindablau

Find out more about Family Whispering at You can also read Melinda's other blogs at:
and (a site exploring the mother/adult daughter relationship)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gene Zafrin on March 12, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This heartfelt book about parenting is composed of chapters debunking some common parenting myths, such as the myth of parents being always in charge or that your relationship with your child should only be about the child. The material does not feel "groundbreaking", perhaps because it is not based on any latest research, but rather on the author's many years of family and child practice. And yet, some of the points resonated with me and sounded like something I could use in my own parenting. For example, Taffel points out that often most memorable connection takes place during the most ordinary activities. Indeed, sharing a household activity may present better opportunities for a good conversation than sitting your child in front of you and lecturing him.

The book introduces three parenting styles that are roughly appropriate for three age groups: parent-protector (for 5-9 year olds), parent-chum (9-12) and parent-realist (13-16). These categories sound a bit programmatic, but the book does point out that at any time you may have to wear different hats with the same kid. Even though this categorization is arguable, it provides a useful framework for further discussion.

One suggestion is repeated throughout the book: staying involved with your children. Whether it is by creating boundaries for the acceptable behavior or just playing with your kid, the author is convinced that being connected with what's going on in your kid's life is a fundamental parenting principle. In today's busy world, it is not a trivial undertaking.

The book has a definite therapeutic bent: almost every page is devoted to a technique of dealing with something that went wrong. It reads almost like a compilation of case studies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Lam on June 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best parenting books I've read. The views expressed are balanced and realistic. It also emphasizes the tween and teen years. Don't be misled by the title. It is not a book about attaching to your children. The book does an excellent job of discussing when to let go, when to accept your children and when to stay connected and protect them.
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By Momof5 on October 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love this book. Tons of great advice for preteen-teens which is sometimes hard to find. Although it is written in the 90's so some of the references are what 13 year old talks on a home phone or writes in a diary these still has a ton of great information.
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Parenting by Heart: How to Stay Connected to Your Child in a Disconnected World
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