Red Flags or Red Herrings? Predicting Who Your Child Will Become

Susan Engel, Atria, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4391-5011-5
Engel (The Stories Children Tell and Context Is Everything) advises parents how to develop the perspective they need to distinguish real problems that require professional help from the quirky character traits kids may well outgrow. Each of six chapters examines one central quality not always obvious when children are young but of central importance as they grow up—intelligence, friendship, goodness, success, romance, and happiness—and the patterns that characterize them so parents will know what to watch for. Unlike most parenting books, this one doesn't actually label kids' behavior. Instead, it tells scores of didactic and entertaining stories about the second grade's Mortal Enemy Club; Oliver, the good egg from a rotten neighborhood; Raymond, the passionate preschool artist; Cody, who never fulfilled his potential; and lovely, lonely Lenore. Through these anecdotes—and the interpolation of research results from educational and developmental psychologists—Engel tells parents how to read their kids' clues and reminds them that a single episode or characteristic has to be understood in terms of the child's whole experience. Parents will come away from this insightful book more with a sense of how to proceed rather than specific directions, but the author knows her stuff and is a wonderful storyteller.(Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/06/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4391-5588-2
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-4391-5013-9
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-5011-0807-5
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