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The Successful Child: What Parents Can Do to Help Kids Turn Out Well Paperback – March 27, 2002


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The Successful Child: What Parents Can Do to Help Kids Turn Out Well + The Discipline Book: How to Have a Better-Behaved Child From Birth to Age Ten + The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night's Rest for the Whole Family (Sears Parenting Library)
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Just what does it take to raise a responsible, compassionate child in a society whose overbearing media celebrates and encourages violence, promiscuity, and gluttonous materialism? Dr. William Sears and his wife, Martha, a nurse, understand that instilling a moral code in one's children is among the most daunting, yet vital, of all parenting tasks. In The Successful Child, they've marvelously distilled 34 years' experience parenting their eight children and treating thousands of kids in their pediatric office--along with facts from recent scientific studies--into this collection of constructive, reassuring guidelines for nurturing children into healthy, well-adjusted young adults.

As Dr. Sears told his children, "Your success in life ... will not be measured by the money you make or the degrees you earn, but rather by the number of persons whose lives are better because of what you did." To that end, Sears advocates what he has coined "attachment parenting," or AP, the practice of listening to your parenting instincts and being sensitive to your baby's needs (such as by quickly responding to cries; by breastfeeding on cue, not bottle-feeding on a schedule; and by co-sleeping). By having his needs met immediately, Sears says the child learns to trust adults, and he in turn mirrors this behavior by acting sensitively to the needs of others later on.

Sears says, "It's never too late to try the AP approach with a child," but The Successful Child definitely will be most useful to parents who've raised their child according to AP guidelines through infancy and toddlerhood. Those who haven't may shudder when Sears writes that the developmental stage from birth to one year most influences a child's future success "because that's when caregivers leave the most lasting impressions on a child's brain." Nevertheless, the Searses have packed in a plethora of sensible tips here for all parents, including 16 ways to teach children how to make wise choices, 12 strategies for guiding spiritual development, seven questions to ponder when a teen wants to start working part-time, and a dozen ways to boost your child's intellectual abilities, such as by offering a diet high in brain-building omega-3 fatty acids. But the most important thing parents can do for their kids, the Searses say, is to hold high expectations: "Let her know that you expect her to do her best, no less and no more, and that you will love her no matter what." --Erica Jorgensen

From Booklist

Sears, a pediatrician, provides advice on how parents can give children the tools they need to succeed in life. He begins by examining the connection parents develop with their children both before they are born and while they are young and most trusting, the connection that will develop their emotional and intellectual "tools." In the second half of the book, Sears advises parents on how to convert their children's good emotional habits into more specific skills needed for success--communication, compassion, health and fitness, and self-esteem. He focuses as much on developing spiritual values in children as steering them toward healthy diets and good study habits. Sears emphasizes that success cannot be measured simply by the attainment of good grades, career advancement, and wealth. He offers very solid advice, exercises, and evaluations to help parents guide their children from infancy through adolescence. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Sears Parenting Library
  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (March 27, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316777498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316777490
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Good advice is hard to find, but this books is worth every penny.
"bh0513"
The authors balance great love and respect for children with an appreciation for the structure and limits that children need in order to flourish.
Catherine Allison Granju
As with all Sears books, parental anecdotes are used liberally, keeping the book personal and interesting.
Kelly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Kelly VINE VOICE on December 16, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read quite a lot of Dr. & Martha Sears' books and agree with some previous reviewers who have said that some of their most recent releases are just rehashes of old stuff [something I began to find very frustrating!]. However, this book was well worth my money!
I was pleasantly surprised to find a well organized book taking a "bird's eye view" of childrearing - not getting so bogged down in babyhood, but looking at the long term goals and results. I found the research quoted throughout fascinating and really enjoyed their synthesis of scientific study. I liked seeing their logic on how their suggestions for raising babies, preschoolers, and elementary age kids on up are likely to result in the attributes I want for my own children.
I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Siblings [something they are obviously experts at after 8 children!], Raising Moral and Responsible Children, and Sexuality; as well as the numerous suggestions and ideas for raising older children. This book is an excellent follow up to "The Baby Book" - what to do when the baby isn't a baby any more!
Even if you are not the least bit inclined towards Attachment Parenting, this book would be an interesting read just as a counterpoint to your own philosophy. I'm very excited to have found such a useful book!
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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book does an excellent job of discussing what parents can do to help their children become successful people. It delves into diverse topics such as responsibility, academics, compassion and communication. I highly recommend this to parents of children from toddlers to teenagers. I would also recommend a book the by co-author of this one, Elizabeth Pantley, called Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading - as a guide to the practical aspects of using the tools described in The Successful Child.
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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Sandra D. Peters on March 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Anyone who has studied psychology will relate the importance of early childhood events and experiences to the person one will become as an adult. The first six years of a child's life greatly influence one's life in the adult world; however, the authors have taken that theory one step further and deemed that the FIRST YEAR, will critically determine how the child develops emotionally.
This is a book for every parent no matter how experienced or inexperienced one might be. By the time we just begin to "think" we have all the answers, our children have flown from the nest! "The Successful Child" contains plenty of good advice on how to enrich your child's growing years nutritionally, spiritually, intellectually and emotionally. You will find constructive and positive viewpoints on the importance of instilling moral values into the upbringing of our children. The book is quick to point out that materialistic wealth is not a priority in the overall plan of raising a healthy, well-adjusted child into adulthood. Rather, the Sears focus on the critical element of teaching children the importance of touching the lives of others and, by doing so, making their own lives more fulfilling.
What impresses me the most about the book is the straight forward, down-to-earth manner in which the book is written. The Sears not only speak from a professional standpoint, but one based on personal experience - they have raised eight children! This will definitely be one book I will be highly recommending to clients searching for resource material in childhood development. There are a vast variety of topics covered between these pages on development from the stages of birth through the teen years to adulthood. The material will give parents much to contemplate as they embark on one of life's most challenging and rewarding experiences - raising a healthy, happy, well-adjusted child. May peace and love go with you on this ever-changing adventure.
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61 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
I bought this book and "The Child Whisperer" by Matt Pasquinilli on the advice of a professional. I was having difficulty getting my child to listen and follow through with simple tasks. It was affecting her school too. She is such a wonderful child, so kind and caring.
The problem was that she gets distracted easily, and daydreams too much. "The Child Whisperer" was so profound in its simplicity. It created a foundation of basic skills that changed my relationship with my child.
The man who recommended these two books suggested I read and reread "The Child Whisperer" first, then after trying the techniques within it for a few weeks, I was supposed to start reading "The Successful Child:What Parents Can Do to Help Their Kids Turn Out Well." Fantastic advice!!! "The Successful Child" is chock full of easy to use advice and insights that will build your child's confidence and esteem.
All children are wonderful and start out completely innocent. As parents, we can use all the help we can get to raise happy and healthy kids. This book helps!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Kelly on April 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
Unlike most Sears books which focus on one particular aspect of parenting (i.e. breastfeeding, discipline), The Successful Child is a big picture look at parenting. Sears examines the many factors which influence a child, from the important first year of birth, to diet, to discipline.
There are many small highlights scattered throughout the book on issues such as homeschooling or playing video games. As with all Sears books, parental anecdotes are used liberally, keeping the book personal and interesting. Frequent references to medical and psychological studies (though, sadly, lacking references) give the feeling that you have the cutting edge of parenting, right in your hand.
I found this book very helpful for looking at the big goal of parenting--What kind of person do I want my child to grow up to be? With that goal in mind, Sears gives the tools for how to tackle individual parenting issues. A book like this is great for days when the little annoying parts of parenting are getting you down (like cleaning dried cherrios off of your shoes).
Frequent Sears readers may find parts of the book familiar. There is the obligatory "introduction to attachment parenting" that is found in all Sears books. The chapter on nutrition is an overview of The Family Nutrition Book, and much of The Discipline Book is scattered throughout.
Parents in any stage of the game will find this book helpful.
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