Foreword Review — May / June 2002
You need a license to drive a car, but anyone of childbearing age can become a parent. No training or education is required, but parents in need of help can go to the bookstore, only to be confronted with a bewildering array of books on every conceivable aspect of parenting. How will they find what they need?
The authors—parents themselves who have written books for those expecting children—have developed a solid introduction to the world of parenting in this compilation. Gathering essays and articles by some of today’s most highly-regarded parenting experts (including Marianne Seifert, William and Martha Sears, Lawrence Kutner, and Nancy Samalin) into short lessons on a wide variety of parenting topics, the Biedermans have provided a solid overview of current parenting wisdom. Topics include standards like discipline, sleep issues, and surviving the toddler years, along with newer concerns, such as managing kids and sports, building self-esteem, and developing empathy.
The advantage of reading such a book is being able to find quick tips and overviews of parenting issues without buying dozens of separate books. If parents like what one expert has to say, they’re free to seek out more detailed writings by that expert (and the reverse is true if they don’t like what the expert has to say, thus saving the parents time and money). The warmly positive and reassuring tone of the book is designed to provide comfort to nervous parents; as the Biedermans note in their introduction, “Parent School has taught us lessons that we use every day and can pass along to other parents in our lives… We now have the tools in our back pockets that will make us better parents.”
Reading Parent School is like having a panel of friendly advisors at your disposal. The sample technique keeps things short (too short on occasion, but that’s a minor complaint) and easy to read, while the biographies of the experts at the end provides a comprehensive directory to their other written works, perfect for follow-up. Parent School is a valuable addition to the library of parents at any stage of life.