cover image Endangered: Your Child in a Hostile World

Endangered: Your Child in a Hostile World

Johann Christoph Arnold. Plough Publishing House, $10 (186pp) ISBN 978-0-87486-997-2

Parents and societies around the world, says family counselor and father of eight Arnold (Why Forgive?; Seeking Peace, etc.), are hypocritical when it comes to their children. Declaring 2000 the Year of the Child does not put children first, nor do parents who work harder and longer to give their children everything they believe they need yet don't spend enough time with them. Children require the quality of love that comes with ""reverence,"" he asserts. Teachers and caregivers are underpaid, schools are in dire need of resources and parents delude themselves by thinking they're spending time with their kids, when, in fact, they're watching TV while the kids are surfing the Web. With references to famous advocates (Jonathan Kozol, Mother Teresa and Mary Pipher), as well as everyday moms and dads who are changing their lives to put kids first (such as the father who quit his lucrative job at a prestigious law firm to spend more time with his daughters), Arnold presents a strong case for recovering the spiritual aspects of child rearing, such as ""the power of a hug."" (""Without such bread--that is, without warmth, humor, kindness, and compassion--the most carefully considered discipline will eventually backfire."") In our quest for greater meaning in our lives, let us not forget the children, begs Arnold in this lovingly written book, which is less a how-to than a bold instrument of advocacy for America's kids. (Sept.)