Childhood may be changing, but todays cable-ready, all-too-worldly kids are still just kids and should be treated that way. William J. Doherty does not want to recreate childhood as it was in simpler times, he merely wants to help parents adapt to the changes and create an even better future. Dohertys new book, Take Back Your Kids, offers a blueprint to do just that.
Too often, Doherty believes, parents merely provide services and opportunities for children, who in turn consider themselves "consumers of parental services." Hierarchy has diminished. Parents regularly make sacrifices in time and money they perceive to benefit their children. Take Back Your Kids shows occasionally saying no to a childs wish, denying a costly and time-consuming opportunity, allows for more meaningful family moments together at meals, church services and volunteer activities.
Take Back Your Kids gives parents a clear picture of what they should expect from themselves and their children. Doherty describes the skills necessary to be a confident parent--the importance of firm boundaries on behavior, an understanding of when to be flexible, and the courage to express constructive anger and endure the consequences. A good parent may be unpopular from time to time, but children respect and appreciate the exercise of authority in the context of loving family relationships.
Doherty concedes that maintaining those relationships may be difficult amid modern media distractions and fractured families. Take Back Your Kids describes how to monitor media exposure in a culture of constant television and Internet-literate eight-year-olds. He explains why responsible fatherhood may be the most untapped resource in raising children. And he offers advice for co-parents, single parents and step-parents alike to transcend their individual situations and discover the path to loving, respectful and productive relationships with their children.