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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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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.See all Editorial Reviews