How to Set Limits

Elizabeth C. Vinton, Author McGraw-Hill $14.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8092-3014-3
Not just another how-to book on the increasingly popular subject of discipline, this is a thoughtful, rather philosophical treatise on parenting by a Boston-based pediatrician who has raised three children of her own. While Vinton does stress that children need limits, her focus isn't on the familiar band-aids used to maintain order (time-outs, reward systems, etc.). Rather, she presents a carefully crafted method and explains how it applies to various developmental stages (the book is wisely divided in chapters addressing newborns, toddlers, pre-schoolers early and late school-aged kids, and teens). Vinton explains her core concerns--self, calm, respect and time--and how they relate to different age groups (e.g., for newborns, it's vital to approach time in an open-ended fashion). Vinton also offers practical information (why to use a playpen, why not to use a walker) and discusses the importance of good health for parents. Home life should be simple, secure and predictable, Vinton believes, but she also urges parents to follow their own unique rhythms. In a calm, reassuring tone, Vinton outlines reasonable ways for parents and children to find mutual respect and understanding. Parents seeking to gain control of their kids will discover ways here to follow their hearts as well. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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