It's Not Fair! Parenting the Bright and Challenging Child by Gill Hines and Alison Baverstock

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It's Not Fair! Parenting the Bright and Challenging Child by Gill Hines and Alison Baverstock

Category: Home and Family
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Fairhead
Reviewed by Sue Fairhead
Summary: An excellent book for parents with difficult or challenging children, clearly written and with great advice.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: September 2009
Publisher: Piatkus
ISBN: 978-0749940461

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I like parenting books. So, even though my sons are now young adults, I looked forward to reading a new book about raising children. I'm in touch with many parents with children of all ages, and am always interested in reading current recommendations.

The subtitle of this book is, 'Parenting the bright and challenging child'. When I saw it, I wondered if it would be similar to the American book 'Raising your Spirited Child' (by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka) which I found extremely useful when my sons were younger. Spirited children are defined as those who are intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent and energetic.

However, the 'bright and challenging' children described in this book are rather different. They are defined as being 'smart , sassy and sparky, with just a hint of precociousness. At best, they have an unshakeable self-belief; at worst, a touch of arrogance.' There are further explanations of what is meant by this category of child, who is rather different from the dreamy, perceptive and rather disorganised 'spirited' one. A bright and challenging child is a great challenge to his or her parents; being bright does not necessarily mean that he's highly academic, or that he will do well in school (although of course he may be extremely intelligent). It is more related to his living in the moment, being very self-aware and verbal, able to argue his point clearly, and frequently wearing his parents down. Modern recommended parenting methods - such as explaining any boundaries or requests with careful logic - are not necessarily helpful with this kind of child, who may be able to out-argue his parents consistently.

Problems arise when children like this do not consider those around them, since they are often unable to consider long-term consequences of their actions. As teenagers, they are more likely than most to experiment with dangerous or anti-social behaviours such as heavy drinking, drugs, or promiscuity. They usually like being the centre of attention, whether for positive or negative reasons, and are much more interested in their present feelings and desires than any thought of the following day, let alone their future years.

The book is very well-written, full of anecdotes about bright and challenging children, with advice about what to do, and what not to do. There are questionnaires, places for parents to pause and think about certain aspects of parenting, and some excellent suggestions in the later chapters for preparing their children for the temptations of the teenage years.

It's intended for parent of children from eight to twelve, and most of the suggestions and recommendations are appropriate for this age-range. However, some children are clearly bright and challenging from a much younger age, and some teenagers are the despair of their parents due to consistently negative behaviour of the sort described in this book. So I feel it would be appropriate for parents of any age children who are finding it hard to deal with them.

I have no hesitation in awarding this book five bookbag stars. I'm just sorry that some of the parents who most need a book like this may be the ones least likely to pick up a book on parenting. So, borrow this by all means, to see if it's relevant; then you can go ahead and buy a copy - or maybe two, so that you can lend it out to friends who are having problems with their children.

Many thanks to the publishers for sending this book to The Bookbag.

Booklists.jpg It's Not Fair! Parenting the Bright and Challenging Child by Gill Hines and Alison Baverstock is in the Bookbag's Christmas Gift Recommendations 2009.
Buy It's Not Fair! Parenting the Bright and Challenging Child by Gill Hines and Alison Baverstock at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy It's Not Fair! Parenting the Bright and Challenging Child by Gill Hines and Alison Baverstock at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy It's Not Fair! Parenting the Bright and Challenging Child by Gill Hines and Alison Baverstock at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy It's Not Fair! Parenting the Bright and Challenging Child by Gill Hines and Alison Baverstock at Amazon.com.


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