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The Magic of Encouragement: 07/10/07
The Magic of Encouragement is another of those books I got through BookCrossing when Sean was just an infant and I wasn't sure of myself as a parent. Of course real life commitments and the chaos of losing a job and then moving across the bay lead to me shelving the book. Now that we have Harriet and that I'm trying to track my books and declutter my shelves I decided it was finally time to read and release this book.
The book looks at some of the worst case scenarios and offers suggestions on how to undo the damage or to prevent it from happening. As is typical of this genre of book, the bulk of the book is a collection of case studies followed up with some pithy pep-talks on what the lesson of the cast study is.
The book also assumes that the parents who have these troubled children had crappy childhoods too and are therefore needing encouragement in their parenting skills. The idea behind this approach is to teach empathy to parents. Having empathy and a good memory of what it was like to be a child certainly helps but these little paragraphs felt forced to me.
My overall reaction to the book is luke warm. It's certainly not the worst book I've read but it wasn't the best either.