This book is for any person who is currently in a parental relationship with a child or adolescent. It is also for those of us, like me, whose children are adults.
This is because everyone who has been a parent—biological, foster, adoptive, step or grandparent–has made some parenting error at one or numerous times during our parental regime.
The book is designed to help us solve such errors, and it is never too late to do so.
The poet Alexander Pope said, “To err is human.” We parents are very, very human in this sense.
Indeed, erring in our relationships with children is a large part of our experience. Most of us were never taught how to be as errorless as possible in raising children.
In addition, raising children is arguably the most difficult job we will ever have, since being a parent involves many overlapping and interrelated responsibilities. We will closely examine these in the section “Parenting” so that we will not be so hard on ourselves for the errors we make or have made.
We will also be learning some of the better ways of relating to and raising children. The most creative and modern parenting programs will become available to us. Part II of the book is devoted to this type of practical education.
For now, let’s explore the various types of errors that we parents are prone to make.
Types of Parental Errors
A parental error is something we have done or not done that impedes the healthy growth and development of our children.
The error can consist of a painful and inconsiderate comment about the child’s appearance or abilities that eats away at a child’s self-esteem as he or she is receiving it.
It can be an entire approach to child-rearing that goes on for years, which predisposes a child to a lifetime of difficulty and problems. These are errors of commission.
By contrast, errors of omission can consist of not acknowledging when our children are behaving in cooperative and respectful ways because that is the way they should behave or for some other reason for not praising or appreciating them and their behavior.
A multiyear approach, where very few limits are ever set on a child’s day-to-day actions, can predispose a child to a lifetime of being selfish in relation to others.
These multiyear errors, in overall approach, have received much attention by child development and health professionals who have championed one approach or another. Behavioral scientists have conducted research on different approaches. Their work will be presented in the section on “Effective and Ineffective Parenting” to provide a fuller appreciation about what a parenting approach looks like. And with such information, we might even consider changing our current approach.
All parents are prone to making errors in raising children, because parenting is an inherently difficult, demanding, and complex job. This book clarifies the many and interrelated responsibilities of parents, defines what parenting errors are, and provides a unique approach to solving them. The approach involves honestly discussing errors with children and then moving into action to remedy whatever damage may have been done.The author encourages readers to share with him their experiences in utilizing the approach. The book then provides, for immediate use, some excellent ways of relating to and raising children. Included are an array of fine parenting education programs and how to easily access and make the best use of them. Additional resources for becoming the best parent possible are also part of this highly practical book.
About the Author
A clinical child psychologist, Dr Kerby T Alvy is the founder and director of the 43 year old Center for the Improvement of Child Caring in California, through which he has created parenting programs and projects that have already helped over a million parents nationwide to be more sensitive and eff ective in raising children. He is a prolifi c author of books on parenting, parent education and child abuse prevention. His articles have appeared in such publications as USA Today, the Los Angeles Times and the American Psychologist. He is a passionate advocate for the rights of children and parents. He has received many awards for his and the Center’s programs, including being honored at the White House for enhancing the status and competence of parents. He is a proud father of two adult children who also work professionally to improve the personal lives of others.