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Customer Review

72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Appropriate Confidence-Building for Children of All Ages!, September 24, 2000
This review is from: Oh, The Places You'll Go! (Hardcover)
Researchers constantly find that reading to children is valuable in a variety of ways, not least of which are instilling a love of reading and improved reading skills. With better parent-child bonding from reading, your child will also be more emotionally secure and able to relate better to others. Intellectual performance will expand as well. Spending time together watching television fails as a substitute.
To help other parents apply this advice, as a parent of four I consulted an expert, our youngest child, and asked her to share with me her favorite books that were read to her as a young child. Oh, the Places You'll Go! was one of her picks.
This book describes a future filled with unlimited potential ('you can steer any direction you choose'), success ('you'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead'), set-backs ('you can get all hung up on a prickle-ly perch'), and overcoming obstacles ('somehow you'll escape all that waiting and staying').
Many will mischaracterize this book. Since it starts with the words, 'Congratulations! Today is your day.', some will see it only in the context of some special event. At one level, it could certainly be a graduation present for a high school or college grad. At another level, it can be given to those who are moving on from one school to another. You can also see it as a gift for any transition, even if from one grade to the next.
But, I think that the more important application of this book is in setting a standard of parental beliefs for your child about one's child's future life. Psychologists in book after book tell us that parents tend not to be supportive enough, and that teenagers and adult children feel that they have never lived up to their parents' standards. This book can play a very important role in conveying what those standards are and making them match up nicely with what will probably occur in your child's life. That's a tremendous resource, and one that all of us should avail outselves of! In particular, the end says, 'And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.). Notice, that the guarantee comes after faithfully pointing out that the path to success is never straight, that there will be setbacks, and that there will be self-doubt and delays. Hearing that guarantee in the context of the likely difficulties makes one realize that optimism and perserverance are what is being encouraged here. Also, setbacks and delays are merely that ... not failure or failing to meet parental standards.
Psychologists tell us that those who believe they can succeed will put up twice the effort of those who doubt their success.
So after thinking about it, I propose that the day to give this book to someone who has never seen it before is on the darkest day of their life, when all seems bleak and impossible. It may make all of the difference. The gift will be all the more meaningful if you (or someone else) read this book to them when they were younger.
With your children, the right time to introduce this book is as young as possible, so that the belief in their success and the realistic challenges of success will be grounded as soon and as deeply as possible.
So you may give this book as a gift to the same child many times in a lifetime. But don't leave out those who need it who are not your children! They need it even more if their parents did not read Oh, the Places You'll Go! to them as a child!
After you have read this book to your child or given it as a gift to someone else, consider the other ways that you can appropriately boost the self-confidence of that person. Telling a story about your own setbacks and how you overcame them may help. Making yourself more human will also bring you closer together!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 6, 2013 3:15:44 AM PDT
Linda says:
Well said!
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Donald Mitchell

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