Parenting for Social Change
is a powerful parenting book that is not about children, but about the harmful cultural messages adults perpetuate in their relationships with children. In this compelling call for change, Teresa Graham Brett addresses the work parents must do to free themselves, the children who share their lives, and the world from these harmful messages. Using current research, she debunks the myth that controlling children is necessary to ensure that they grow into healthy and responsible adults. She also shares her own parenting journey away from controlling and dominating children and provides strategies for letting go of harmful control. Through her experiences as a social justice educator, she demonstrates how changing our parent-child relationships plays a critical role in creating social change.
The first thing perhaps I could say about Parenting for Social Change
is that it's very different from the parenting books I usually pay attention to because its subject matter is a way of parenting that's totally alien to me personally and has been for the more than 25 years I've been a dad. But, of course, I'm fully aware that the vast majority of parents would relate immediately to the "paradigm of control and domination" this book explores. It's what's considered normal by most people, parents or not.
This is a book that took courage to write and it deserves kudos for that to begin with. The author makes the case for our society to radically reconsider its traditional beliefs about children and childhood mainly through her own journey as a parent and I suspect that some parts of the story wouldn't have been easy to share.
The depth of analysis is superb. This is a book that uses both personal experience and
current research to get a very firm grip on the structure of conventional controlling parenting and exposes its ultimate failings with clear logic. To quote from page 82: "Controlling parenting, despite its mainstream acceptance, damages children even as it fails to achieve the very goals on which it is allegedly focused." For me, Parenting for Social Change
demonstrates that truth beyond any doubt.
Having hopefully been disabused of false ideas about what conventional parenting does to human children, the reader is then guided with the same meticulous attention to detail through a comparison between controlling parenting and ways of parenting that actively support the child in his or her growth and development, and ultimately along a pathway offering a happier and more fulfilling experience for both child and
parent to tools of transformation for becoming the change we wish to see in the world.
Whenever I happen to be in a bookstore, I usually have a quick peek at the Parenting section and invariably note that I would put most of the books on show in the Management section where they belong. I would be very happy to replace them with Parenting for Social Change
. How conventional parenting really works, what's wrong with that and why, what we can do instead to make our society a better place for children to grow up in. The complete package. Yes, excellent.
To find out more about this book, please visit www.parentingforsocialchange.com