Pride and Joy: A Guide to Understanding Your Child's Emotions and Solving Family Problems
Pride and Joy provides guidance to parents on how they can preserve and strengthen feelings of joyfulness and pride in their relationships with their children, while also nurturing their children's optimism and resilience in the face of life's inevitable disappointments. Kenneth Barish, a child psychologist with over 30 years of clinical experience, begins with a discussion of the importance of the child's emotions - and our own - in optimal child development. In Part I, he presents a child therapist's understanding, supported by scientific research, of healthy and unhealthy emotional development in childhood - what goes right and what goes wrong in the lives healthy and troubled children and families. In Part II, the author discusses four principles of emotional health and character development: Positiveness, Repair, Getting Along with Others, and the development of A Moral Self. Part III addresses problems of daily family life - rules and limits, doing homework and going to sleep, winning and losing at games, our children's reluctance to talk to us, their tantrums and lack of motivation, and their addiction to television and video games. Barish presents recommendations for solving these common problems that so often erode the joyfulness of children and adults' pleasure in being a parent. Over the course of the book, Barish also tackles some of the major issues and controversies of contemporary parenting: Have we created a "culture of indulgence" that is harmful to our society and to our children? Are we over-protective and over-solicitous? Are our children "over-praised?" How can we balance our concern for our children's achievement with their responsibilities as citizens? How can we strengthen their sense of purpose and their commitment to ideals? How can we provide our children with effective guidance and discipline when children, as they inevitably will, misbehave? Barish also informs parents of recent advances in developmental, clinical, and neuroscience research - research that has important implications for children's emotional health. These include the importance of emotional communication in families, the profound importance of interactive play in children's social and emotional development, and what kind of praise is helpful to children. He also discusses the importance of "doing for others" and recent research on television and video game violence, and new knowledge of what really works when parents must discipline our children. This book is written for parents of young children - those struggling with chronic child behavior problems as well as those who simply wish to parent mindfully and compassionately, and who are interested in how the latest developmental research can inform good parenting practices.