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Loving without Spoiling
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By Nancy Samalin with Catherine Whitney

This book draws heavily on observations made by parents in workshops hosted by the author over nearly 30 years. Peppered with scores of anecdotes, it compares successful and unsuccessful child rearing methods but avoids creating the false impression that parenting can be reduced to a list of nostrums that are guaranteed to yield results.

Divided into 100 highly focused chapters averaging 3 pages each, itís perfect for browsing or for choosing topics that interest you most. The writing is clear, direct and non-repetitive. The message is grounded in common sense and is remarkably consistent. Most readers can digest it all in only 2-3 hours.

The author encourages parents to instill discipline and standards in their children but to do so with balance and nuance and avoiding the twin extremes of permissive over-indulgence and heavy-handed authoritarianism. A recurring theme is how to overcome resistance in your kids, resolve conflicts, and yet dispose them to follow your rules.

Several years ago this reviewer had an extended interview with Ms. Samalin, a former teacher whose own children are now adults. She was understated, thoughtful, gracious, and genuine. In short, she is still a teacher at heart and definitely not a slick, know-it-all advice guru.

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