cover image Children Learn What They Live: Parenting to Inspire Values

Children Learn What They Live: Parenting to Inspire Values

Dorothy Law Nolte. Workman Publishing, $9.95 (240pp) ISBN 978-0-7611-0919-8

Nolte's familiar poem, written in 1954, is the basis for these essays, beginning with ""If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn."" Nolte, a teacher and lecturer on family dynamics, and Harris, a psychotherapist, expound upon the simple truths of the original stanzas, which have been widely distributed. Each short chapter--on jealousy, praise, shame, recognition, tolerance, honesty, etc.--expands upon Nolte's original observations, stressing respect and love as the main ingredients for raising happy and emotionally healthy children. Although the power and impact of the original poem drew greatly from its succintness, some readers may benefit from these explications. The most valuable additions are the few real-life examples, including the tale of a 10-year-old boy who sought and received comfort from his mother after he flubbed a piano recital. While the text veers readily into greeting-card prose, the authors' message--to support and encourage children, to be patient and kind--certainly is hard to dispute. This compact, easily read volume doesn't pack the power of Nolte's popular poem, but it will make an inspiring gift for many parents. (June)