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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sue Scheff: Parents Do Make a Difference: How to Raise Kids with Solid Character, Strong Minds, and Caring Hearts

Amazon Review:
Once you open the book, though, it's just as clear that, marketing aside, the book was not actually written as part of the parents vs. peers debate, which it has absolutely nothing to do with. Nor is it a scholarly work, in the vein of Harris's book.
The original title of this book was probably something like "The Eight Skills of Raising Successful Children." These simple skills, which Borba (author of 36 other educational publications) has researched and workshopped across the country, then implemented in the curriculum of three elementary schools, are commonsensical, feel-good affirmations for parents and kids. Borba uses lots of lists: the aforementioned eight skills, "four steps to developing positive self-beliefs," "four steps to enhancing social competence," and so on.
The "success tips" and affirmations are pretty straightforward, as with this suggested "pillowgram": "Slip a message under your child's pillow. 'Kevin, I loved looking at your drawings today. You are so artistic! Sleep tight! Love, Dad.'" These are fine, basic self-esteem builders; unfortunately, they can sometimes veer too much on the cloying side. But for parents who want to help their children develop the eight skills (self-confidence, communication, getting along, perseverance, self-awareness, problem solving, goal setting, and caring), it should be of significant help.
Read more about Michele Borba at and follow her on Twitter @MicheleBorba - a wealth of parenting information!

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