I agreed to read and give an honest review of How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children: Meeting The Five Critical Needs of Children...And Parents Too!, which was written by Gerald Newmark, in exchange for a copy of the book. I read the text with an open mind, but also thought about it from the perspective of a teacher as well as the perspective of a parent.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. Newmark made sense, gave examples, and showed how to proceed beyond the basic ideas in the book. There are work
book style pages toward the end of the text which help parents and
families to individualize the way in which their home affects emotional
The only concern I noted was that the author does give a
bit more power to the adults than I would consider appropriate. There
are a few places where I noticed the author suggesting the parent pulls
rank or that there is a family rule. The suggestion seems to address parental wants, for example clothing choices, rather than a mutual want that parent and child agree upon. I would urge caution when parents are pushing their preferences on children for any reason. I will say that the author does focus most of the book on mutual decisions that work for all people involved.
That being said, the book
rises well above the texts I had to read and implement while employed as
an elementary school teacher. It also considers the rights and
emotional health of a child rather than only the wants of an adult who
is "in charge". This book would be useful to all families, not just
those who use little or no punishment. This book can serve as a guide to help teachers to
create a positive environment with the help of students and parents.
is my opinion that How To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children: Meeting The Five Critical Needs of Children...And Parents Too! is useful and respectful to both children
and adults. This book gives as much or as little support as a family or
classroom needs. It is easy to create a positive, gentle, caring, and respectful environment with the help of this text.
You can learn more about Gerald Newmark's work by visiting The Children's Project www.emotionallyhealthychildren.org .