From Publishers Weekly
Wedge, a California-based family therapist, asserts that the medicating of inattentive or hard-to-manage kids has become a dangerous but socially accepted way to deal with children's problems. But psychiatric drugs may have serious side effects for children, and the benefits do not always outweigh the potential for harm. Wedge reveals how family therapists approach such symptoms as unhappiness, moodiness, or jumpiness, not as signs of a "psychiatric disorder" but as evidence of something wrong in a family that can be remedied with the right interventions. Without blaming parents, Wedge describes how she helps the family system as a whole, treating it as a living organism with an amazing capacity for self-healing. In her "strategic therapy toolbox" are such methods as getting parents not to fight or discuss financial matters in front of kids (children may have a tendency to exaggerate their parents' problems in their own minds), encouraging parents to speak positively about their lives, and learning to identify significant events in a child's life that may be related to when a problem behavior began. Like a clever detective, the author allows the child to guide her to the heart of a family's problems. Interweaving a range of fascinating case studies, Wedge proves that the road to a child's healing can often be successfully navigated without the use of labels and potentially harmful meds. (Mar.)
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"Impressive...Suffer the Children
is very readable, and I think it would be very useful for both the general reader and for students...You cover a lot of ground in a very straightforward, non-technical, unpretentious way." -David Van Nuys, Ph.D., former college professor and host of Shrink Rap Radio
"Wedge takes the family dynamic into account as a primary influence on child behavior, but veers away from presenting a polemic against parents...Her encouragement to look anew at the 'problems' our children have...and to step back from immediate falling into diagnosis is valuable and expert advice." -Booklist
"I hope this parenting book by Marilyn Wedge, PhD. will make the best seller list so millions of parents can relearn what they can do to give their children back their childhoods. Thank you, Marilyn, for this long needed gift to change our society's future." -Parenting Techniques
"...Many school authorities, doctors and other professionals mean well when they prescribe medication and diagnose what appear to be symptoms of ailments which can be treated by pills. What Dr. Wedge advocates is... solving the underlying problems within the family...this book is highly recommended." -Kingman Daily Miner"Marilyn Wedge has provided an excellent resource for clinicians and parents. Her book, Suffer the Children, is a tour de force argument against the current trend in American education and psychiatry which assumes that children with behavioral difficulties will likely require medication." --Shannon M. Bernard-Adams and Marcus P. Adams