Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 19 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Whole Child/ Whole Parent has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it is still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Whole Child/ Whole Parent Paperback – June 19, 1997

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$18.99
$9.88 $0.01

Get unlimited access to the world's best-selling magazines
One low monthly price, 100s of your favorite titles. > Try Texture FREE
$18.99 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 19 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Whole Child/ Whole Parent
  • +
  • The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
Total price: $28.74
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

M. Scott Peck, M.D., is the author of several "New York Times" best-sellers, including The Road Less Traveled, which has spent more than ten years on the Times list and is arguably the most influential spiritual book of modern times. He and his wife, Lily, live in northern Connecticut and have been the recipients of several awards for peacemaking.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Wholeness as Completeness

If you'll be m-i-n-e mine

I'll be t-h-i-n-e

thine,

And I'll l-o-v-e love you

All the t-i-m-e time . . .

--"Zulu King," traditional camp song

We tend to think of ourselves as separate beings (I, the parent--you, the child) existing in relation to each other and trying to perfect ourselves as complete, "whole" persons. Parent and child alike are believed to be completeable, each in quest of wholeness, each to some extent deriving its wholeness from the other. Unconsciously, when we think of loving each other we tend to mean getting wholeness from each other.

But whether we call it love or not, there is a certain built-in contrariness to the idea of many would-be whole selves seeking to get personal completeness from each other. In breast-feeding, for example, the apparent situation is that the mother has got what the child has not. So the mother gives of her self, and the child gets. And what is the mother getting? A sense of personal completeness and a sense of self-sacrifice. On the one hand, she is fulfilling herself and being loving; on the other hand, she may feel secretly robbed and resentful. It takes so much time--much more than she thought. It's so tiring. Must she give up her whole life for her child?

When the child becomes more "self-sufficient," it is time for weaning. Now the mother is relieved and freed, and so is the child. Yet they may both feel cheated. The mother feels less whole, less of a mother if the child is weaned; she is less of a mother if he isn't! And while the child may seem reluctant to give up nursing, underneath it may be the mother's secret clinging that prolongs the nursing and inhibits the child's growing freedom and wholeness.

Fathers also experience such conflicts. A man wants a child to complete his marriage and his picture of himself as a whole father/husband; yet he seems to lose his wife (thereby diminishing his husband self) in the process. He wants his son to be a little man; but at the same time he wants to be in charge, to be looked up to and obeyed.

If we--parent and child--are indeed separate personal entities, each in quest of personal wholeness, such conflicts of self-interest are inevitable. As a doctor's healing work depends on somebody else being sick, so our ambition to be whole parents and raise independent whole children seems to depend on their being dependent on us. Our sufficiency seems dependent on their unsufficiency. Each of us in making our claim to personal wholeness is inclined to rob the other of his claim to wholeness. But where is the love in that? Where indeed? And where is the wholeness? If there is wholeness in any of us, what is this need to go around getting it from somebody else?

If you don't think the title of this book is Whole Parent/Whole Child, then you are the exception. Most people do. Implied is that if the parent is whole, then the child will be whole. If the parent knows how to do it, then the child will turn out okay. But then--oh, horrible thought and worse experience!--if the child seems not to be whole, then the parent must not be whole either. The nine-month-old next door is already walking, while our eleven-month-old hasn't taken a step. The manager of the supermarket says our seven-year-old has stolen a package of gum. From silly to serious, every difficulty suggests to us that the child is not whole, which in turn suggests that we are to blame, which in turn suggests that we are not whole. God forbid!

So we seek diagnoses, explanations for what's wrong with the child. If we can't take credit for our children, then at least please excuse us from the blame! Thank goodness it's dyslexia! I thought it was my fault. I thought he was stupid, lazy. Indeed, recognition of our children's special differences, limitations, styles of learning, and so forth can be very helpful. But there is another side as well. Secretly we are almost grateful to think that there is something really the matter with him, something only mechanical, something wrong with him rather than with us. So in a strange way, the very thing we started out in favor of (rearing a whole child) turns out to be something we are somehow also against.

There are all these hidden clauses--the fine print we don't see when we make this contract to have children and become parents. We act on assumptions and motives we aren't aware of and reap consequences we don't expect.

One mother has a wonderful governess who raised her as a child and now helps with her children. The children love the governess; the governess loves and cares beautifully for the children. Any busy mother would be delighted to have such assistance and such loving care for her children. But this mother feels rejected and jealous! In her picture of her "whole" self she is the complete, perfect mother. She wants her children to love, depend on, and look up to her alone, for everything. But does she really want them to be afraid to leave her side? to find no love anywhere except from her? She sees how ridiculous this is. Yet the desire is very strong. Her desire to be the complete mother conflicts with her being a truly good mother.

Are we using our children? You bet we are. But while we are not as good as we thought, we are not as bad either--only mistaken.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; 4th edition (June 19, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060928182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060928186
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #621,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Every now and then a rare book appears which can change your life. This is one.

Polly Berrien Berends is wise and gentle. She brings lofty or deep spiritual insights to the rubber-meets-the-road issues of daily parenting: how is one to approach fears of childbirth? How should one talk to a toddler? How does one decide which toys to buy?

I had the good fortune to read this book just prior to becoming a parent, and if possible, you should too. It is not a quick or easy read, rather a very meaningful one. Sometimes I had to stop and think after only three or four pages. But this was well worth it.

If you are already a parent, or if you may never become a parent, read this book. Although it addresses parenting issues it is really a book about human-being-hood.
Comment 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had the fortune to begin to read this book 10 years before our twins were born. Whether you are a parent or not Berend's statement of the perennial spiritual wisdom is to be savored and dipped into over and over again. The book is so rich, so moving, so poetic that frequently you will find that you need to stop and reflect on her words after a page or two.
This book, along with Berend's unfortunately out-of-print "Coming To Life", is a true spiritual classic.
Comment 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I discovered this at the discount table of a bookstore in Lexington, Kentucky. It does not get old or outdated.
How easily this book could have drifted off into self-indulgent Freudian psychobabble, Fundamentalist moralism or New Age narcissism--all of which Alice Miller has warned us against--in the hands of a less gifted writer. The fact that it doesn't at any time in 340-plus pages is nothing short of miraculous. Polly Berends not only challenges one's view of parenting and loving, but also of Christianity and culture and the universe itself, by bringing mysticism back to the modern Christian mind while not alienating those of other (or no particular) faiths. Filled with transcendent prose, quotes of everything from Buddhist sacred text to the New Testament to e.e. cumming poetry, and the writer's own heart (the heart of a proud mother and wife who walks with God), this is a truly beautiful work that made my mind scream what was important about my personal relationship with my son to me, above the distractions of my ego, with virtually every page.
Consider yourself the child, and this book will help you raise yourself. And then imagine what kind of real parent you can be while following its lessons.
This is the ultimate holiday, Mother/Father's Day or birthday gift for anyone with children, bar none.
Beautiful.
Comment 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Wow, this book is the one parenting book that I have read that I can say changed my entire way of looking at my job as a mother. The spirituality of being a parent and the spiritual lessons that await us every single day are now so apparent in my mind after reading this book. My relationship with my spirited child and nursing babe has completely been transformed as I process this book and consciously live out the spiritual moments of my day. Please give this book at least a chance to enter into your journey of parenthood.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
When you find yourself wondering how you can continue doing the mundane, day to day, oft mindless work of raising children then you need to read this book.

I am raising 4 children in a culture that does not value community or child rearing as a noble vocation. Polly's book gave me strength in the face of despair. It taught me that my children had chosen to come into my life to teach me how to live as much as for me to teach them how to be. Do not let the spiritual nature of this book frighten you. Her teaching is gentle and wise.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Francoise on January 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
Peace, this book brings peace to those early years of new parenting. I remember how much it helped me deal with the emotional and identity adjustments a new mother has to make. It was priceless in terms of getting me past my own ego. I found that reading this book for a few minutes each night, especially in that first year of being a mom, really helped me stay focused in terms of the kind of parent I wanted to be for my daughter. Not the kind of child I wanted my daughter to be. I think this is some of what other reviewers might also be referring to when they say it changed their ideas of parenting. This is not a book with a list of things you must buy-- on the contrary, the author makes an enlightened case for how little you actually have to buy when you have a baby. The only problem is that the beliefs in this book are not popular ones in our mainstream society. This isn't a book about controlling your child or making him or her smarter.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a gift for my son and his wife who are expecting their first child. It is a beautiful book, filled to the brim with info that is helpful and pertinent. A must read for all new parents! Thank you.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book to any parent. I am expecting my first child any day now and it has been such a comfort reading this book as I prepare for parenthood! My mother had the original version long ago before she had me. I must say I like this updated version better--even the author says she needed to make the changes/updates as she had become older/wiser. I believe the first version was writtin in the late 60's early 70's, so this version, written in the mid-late 90's is definitely an update. Regardless or time or era, this book is essential, in my humble opinion! If you consider yourself a spiritual person, this book is for you. If you don't, it could still be helpful.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Whole Child/ Whole Parent
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Whole Child/ Whole Parent