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Reviewed by Laurie Gray for Readers' Favorite
"Smart Parenting for Smart Kids: Nurturing Your Child’s True Potential" by Eileen Kennedy-Moore, PhD, and Mark S. Lowenthal, PsyD, explains how and why children struggle and distills “smart” parenting into four essential components: a compassionate ability to view the world through our children’s eyes; the confidence to set judicious limits; a commitment to turn toward our children more often than away; and faith in our children’s ability to grow and learn. The authors identify seven fundamental challenges, devoting a chapter to each: Tempering Perfectionism, Building Connection, Managing Sensitivity, Handling Cooperation and Competition, Dealing with Authority, Developing Motivation, and Finding Joy. Drawing upon their own professional training and experience, they offer insightful strategies and research-based solutions, demonstrating practical application through the use of two, three or four specific vignettes that represent typical behavior issues in each chapter. The book includes an index and an extensive selection of recommended reading for both parents and professionals.
This is one of the most encouraging and empowering parenting books I have encountered. There is no elaborate system of rewards and punishments to “fix” children by controlling and manipulating them into conformity to our desired outcomes. Instead, the strategies are the ones we can use to “parent” ourselves, turning us into positive examples of the behavior we desire for our children and giving us the “parenting” experience we need to parent our children more successfully. Dr. Kennedy-Moore and Dr. Lowenthal emphasize that a child’s true potential is not in performance and achievement, but in the capacity for personal growth and life-long learning innate in every child. I highly recommend this practical guide to all parents who want to cultivate their children’s inner strength and outward compassion and help their children create their own meaningful and satisfying lives.