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Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children Paperback – July 30, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Not since Dr. Spock or Penelope Leach has there been such a sensitive and practical guide to raising healthy children and this one doesn't end at potty training. Child therapists Thompson (coauthor of bestseller Raising Cain) and Cohen (Playful Parenting) have teamed up with Washington Post columnist and children's writer Grace (all three are parents) to describe the social lives of kids and the appropriate roles of parents, teachers and school administrators. They explore the stages of children's development, from parent-bonded to quasi-asocial toddler, the learning-the-rules phase in elementary school and adolescent and romantic bonding. Each phase may bring some negative experiences including some outright cruelty that can be hard on both parents and children, but sometimes necessary for learning about the world. They advise parents to think of themselves as "lifeguards" at the pool, aware of what's going on with their kids, but only intervening in the rare crisis. The book wraps up on a practical note, with chapters on how schools can be proactive and how parents can be most useful. Their advice? Don't worry so much, set a good example, keep perspective and relax most kids turn out okay. Thompson and Grace's breezy "we've all been there" anecdotal style will bring great comfort to any parents who're worried about their kid's social life in other words, any parent. (Sept.)Forecast: The planned 12-city author tour and print advertising in the New York Times and USA Today will yield big sales, supported by the strength of Thompson's name and Grace's media connections.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Bullying has become an area of concern in the media and society. This book discusses that topic but weaves it into a broader study of children's friendships. Thompson, a clinical psychologist and coauthor of Raising Cain; Grace, an author of children's books and a former columnist for the Washington Post; and psychologist Cohen (Playful Parenting) present a developmental perspective as they describe how children's social lives develop from toddlerhood to adolescence. Research and analysis are interspersed with personal anecdotes and vignettes in an engaging style. The book concludes with advice to teachers and parents on how to improve social life in schools and support children's friendships. This is not a formulaic, how-to book. As the authors themselves acknowledge, the best way to learn about friendship is to practice it. However, it does provide useful perspective on a critical aspect of adolescent development, which tends to be overlooked until schoolyard feuds erupt into violent confrontations. The book may also be reassuring to parents since it outlines information on current dating styles, acceptable ranges of friendship patterns, and normal gender differences in interpersonal relationships. Recommended for public library parenting collections to complement Charlene C. Giannetti and Margaret Sagarese's more narrowly focused Cliques: 8 Steps To Help Your Child Survive the Social Jungle (LJ 2/1/01). Antoinette Brinkman, M.L.S., Evansville, IN
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
As a special education teacher, and soon to be school counselor, I have long held that those who have children, and work with children need a keener understanding on why children do the things they do, if we are to care for them, and serve them better. This book will go along way in fostering this understanding among parents, teachers, and practioners because it helps us understand how a child views her world.
Written in conjuction with journalist Catherine O'Neill Grace and Lawrence Cohen, Ph.D. "Best Friends, Worst Enemies..." provides such a keen insight into the social lives of children, it is almost as if it was written by a child, because they have such an excellent perspective.