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Parenting Without Fear: Letting Go of Worry and Focusing on What Really Matters Paperback – August 7, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Clinical psychologist Donahue presents the novel idea that parents should do less, not more, for their children and argues that parents' fears are holding kids back from developing self-reliance and independence. According to Donahue, parents mainly fear letting go, not doing enough, and unstructured time. He takes readers through these topics one by one, helping parents teach their children to be independent, cooperative, respectful, mindful, imaginative and curious, and to develop compassion for others. The thrust of this work is devoted to ways of raising resilient children and bolstering parents who tend to follow trends rather than march to the beat of their own drummer. A recurring theme is the overscheduling of kids and the accompanying competition so prevalent today. Donahue advises limiting extracurricular activities such as team sports and making time for family dinners, independent play and outdoor exploration. The author points out that not only parents but kids should learn to be more mindful, noting that even children of the frenzied computer age can be taught to slow down. Donahue's heartfelt discourse on what really matters just might help anxious parents replace the rush to get ahead with a calm and respectful attitude toward child rearing and life. (Aug.)
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About the Author

Paul J. Donahue, Ph.D, a nationally-recognized clinical psychologist, is the founder and director of Child Development Associates in Scarsdale, New York, a practice specializing in young children and their families.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 305 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (August 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312358911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312358914
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,227,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Dr. Donahue's book is a Must-Read for any parent who feels the slightest doubt in their parenting techniques. His primer is filled with practical advice, everyday situations, and a balm to any mother or father who feels the pressures of little Johnny's need to succeed. As a mother of 7 living in the pressure cooker of Westchester County, I am constantly second guessing myself - should I have signed them up for cello, should they try out for the select soccer team or stay in town, should I put them in the advanced summer math classes, will they be behind in school because we didn't use flash cards all summer. Dr. Donahue's balming advice is as healing as it is realistic. Each chapter is filled with practical tips and adds perspective to the mystery of parenting. If you want to make your family and the happiness of your child a priority, this is the child rearing book to read.
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Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book to parents of young children. Dr. Donahue's engaging book respects both children AND parents. He offers practical, insightful and reassuring advice about how to raise children who will be good and valued members of their various communities. How refreshing to read advice from someone who believes that children (and parents who raise them) should be judged by how actively they express the values they have---rather than primarily by how much they excel at the many activities they do. His sense of humor about the trials of parenting makes this an enjoyable read---one even the most exhausted parent would stay up to finish.
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed reading this book. It offered sound practical advice, especially for people like me who are first-time parents of young children. I found some tips that were really helpful and that my husband and I are going to try to use with our young boys.

I'm not sure if that Scarpetti fellow below really read this book. I Googled his other reviews and found he wrote about weird things. He doesn't seem like the parenting type who would be interested in a good book such as this one.
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Format: Paperback
I found Dr. Donahue's book a good read. There were a lot of good tips for working mothers about managing time, creating structure and learning to follow through. The part about sleep deprivation rings true for me!! There's a lot of good suggestions that I am putting to use with my young boys.
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Format: Paperback
Parenting Without Fear alleviates the parental fear that drives us to over schedule our children. This book illustrates that downtime and family time are more beneficial to our children's development than extracurricular activities. The parenting concepts in this book are practicable - far from those theoretical parenting books that are difficult to implement.

Dr. Donahue imparts the importance of family time and rituals as tools that build the security children need to be able to imagine, explore and create. He reminds us that our role as parents is not to schedule our children's days but to teach them the skills they need to succeed: independent thinking, self-reliance, a good work ethic and consideration.

The book is written in an empathetic voice, with an understanding of the anxiety felt by parents who are trying to prepare their children for today's competitive world. There are several examples of well-intended parents who would like to slow down but are afraid to do less because they think their children will fall behind. It's a must read for those of us who feel overextended and need some sensible guidance.
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