Pride and Joy: A Guide to Understanding Your Child's Emotions and Solving Family Problems

ISBN : 9780199896240

Kenneth Barish
280 Pages
141 x 209 mm
Pub date
May 2012
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Pride and Joy provides guidance to parents on how they can preserve and strengthen feelings of joyfulness and pride in their relationships with their children, while also nurturing their children's optimism and resilience in the face of life's inevitable disappointments. Kenneth Barish, a child psychologist with over 30 years of clinical experience, begins with a discussion of the importance of the child's emotions - and our own - in optimal child development. In Part I, he presents a child therapist's understanding, supported by scientific research, of healthy and unhealthy emotional development in childhood - what goes right and what goes wrong in the lives healthy and troubled children and families. In Part II, the author discusses four principles of emotional health and character development: Positiveness, Repair, Getting Along with Others, and the development of A Moral Self. Part III addresses problems of daily family life - rules and limits, doing homework and going to sleep, winning and losing at games, our children's reluctance to talk to us, their tantrums and lack of motivation, and their addiction to television and video games. Barish presents recommendations for solving these common problems that so often erode the joyfulness of children and adults' pleasure in being a parent. Over the course of the book, Barish also tackles some of the major issues and controversies of contemporary parenting: Have we created a "culture of indulgence" that is harmful to our society and to our children? Are we over-protective and over-solicitous? Are our children "over-praised?" How can we balance our concern for our children's achievement with their responsibilities as citizens? How can we strengthen their sense of purpose and their commitment to ideals? How can we provide our children with effective guidance and discipline when children, as they inevitably will, misbehave? Barish also informs parents of recent advances in developmental, clinical, and neuroscience research - research that has important implications for children's emotional health. These include the importance of emotional communication in families, the profound importance of interactive play in children's social and emotional development, and what kind of praise is helpful to children. He also discusses the importance of "doing for others" and recent research on television and video game violence, and new knowledge of what really works when parents must discipline our children. This book is written for parents of young children - those struggling with chronic child behavior problems as well as those who simply wish to parent mindfully and compassionately, and who are interested in how the latest developmental research can inform good parenting practices.


Part I: Basic Principles: Nurturing Your Child's Emotional Health
Chapter 1 The Emotions of Childhood
Chapter 2 What Matters Most: Understanding and Support
Chapter 3 Optimism and Resilience Versus Demoralization and Defiance
Chapter 4 Positiveness
Chapter 5 Repair
Chapter 6 The Character of Our Children
Chapter 7 Putting It All Together
Chapter 6 Getting Unstuck: 5 Essential Steps for Solving Family Problems
Chapter 8 Getting Unstuck: 5 Essential Steps for Solving Family Problems
Chapter 9 The Problem of Discipline: How To Set Limits and What Limits To Set
Chapter 10 Homework
Chapter 11 "Why Won't She Talk To Us?"
Chapter 12 "He's Not Motivated"
Chapter 13 Tantrums and Meltdowns
Chapter 14 Winning and Losing
Chapter 15 Sleep, Television, and Electronic Games
Chapter 14 The Emotions of Childhood: Interest and Joy
Pride and Shame
Chapter 16 A Philosophy of Childhood and Final Take-Aways

About the author: 

Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology, Weill Medical College, Cornell University

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