A clinician and neuropsychologist specializing in helping the parents of young children, Chidekel offers advice on dealing with "common, short-term child rearing challenges" while also considering long-term effects. Chidekel writes clearly and maintains a professional tone, appealing to the minds rather than the hearts of her audience: "To expect happiness and smooth sailing constantly is to take an idealized view of the human condition, which is neither practical nor desirable." She uses hypothetical scenarios effectively to illustrate key points. For example, an episode in which a parent confronts inner sadness shows that unresolved issues from the past can affect one's parenting ability. As the title suggests, parents are encouraged to take charge gently, for "an appropriate parental role has authority at its core." This book will be helpful when used in conjunction with such works as T. Berry Brazelton's empathetic Touchpoints (LJ 11/1/92). Appropriate for large public libraries. Douglas C. Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Hartford Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Chidekel, a psychologist specializing in children's issues, offers advice to parents on how to avoid or at least minimize common behavior problems such as tantrums, punishment, anger and guilt. While parenting is always a challenge, the author believes that it can be stressful and traumatic if parents don't have the right approach. Most parents, she argues, bring their own baggage to their skills as parents, which can affect their childrearing and their child. "To be the best parent you can be," she says, "you must develop your awareness of your self. The better you know yourself and the more awareness you have of what has influenced you, the better able you are to see yourself and your children and to make the best choices for you and your family." To help readers navigate through the many issues parents face, Chidekel offers brief examples followed by a suggested course of action. Her advice is sound, if sometimes obvious. For example, if a toddler has just put gum over a pair of expensive new shoes, the author advises his parent to calm down before having a discussion about manners. With its mixture of short-term solutions and long-term reflections, this book will prove helpful for parents who have the time to read and perform some self-analysis. Other, more harried parents may prefer quick-fix solutions without all the underlying psychology. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.