I was just joking with someone today about psychologists and psychiatrists using the phrase "and how does that make you feel?", and thankfully that phrase was not used in this book. What was used a great deal is the phrase "What's up?", which means the same thing but feels a little bit less clinical, grins.
So, the premise behind the book is that roles in parent/child relationships are often reversed in that the child is in control, and I'd have to say I agree with that observation. Dr. Greene then goes on to explain to the reader how to not be a controlling dictator, and how to prevent your children from being controlling little dictators by using your communication skills. "What's up?"
Honestly there are a lot of good points in this book on how to have better communication skills. These skills will work in all areas, not just parenting. I did however come away with the feeling that the author really doesn't believe that parents are in charge, and that maybe they shouldn't really be. Perhaps I've misinterpreted this underlying tone, but none the less that's the impression I've been left with.
There are several curse words used throughout, typically as being said by the irate teen. Some of the example conversations seem unrealistic and lean way far to the right in liberalism. While I do think there is wisdom to be gleaned from Dr. Greene, this was not a book that will land on my "must read" list.
Dr. Ross Greene on Why he wrote this book:
I wrote Raising Human Beings because, for a very long time, it's been clear that kids who aren't classified as "behaviorally challenging" benefit tremendously from being involved in the process of solving the problems that affect their lives. And because I've been really concerned about societal trends that have caused many kids to focus a lot more on "me" than on "we"...the problems that affect us all are going to require that we proceed in ways that are for the collective good rather than solely for individuals. - Dr. Ross Greene.
Read an Excerpt here: http://drrossgreene.com/raising-human-beings.htm
About the author:
Dr. Ross W. Greene is the author of Raising Human Beings, Lost and Found, Lost at School, and The Explosive Child. Dr. Greene was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for over twenty years, and is now founding director of the nonprofit organization Lives in the Balance (LivesintheBalance.org), which provides a vast array of free, web-based resources on the model of carenow called Collaborative & Proactive Solutionsdescribed in his books. Dr. Greene's research has been funded by the US Department of Education, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Stanley Medical Research Institute, and the Maine Juvenile Justice Advisory Group. He speaks widely throughout the world, and lives in Portland, Maine.
I received a free copy of this book for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own. I was not required to write a positive review, nor did I receive any compensation for my review.