Good Enough Parent

Bettelheim, Bruno. A Good Enough Parent. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987.

It’s funny that this was written in the year I graduated from high school and went onto college. I consider 1987 one of the biggest “brink” years – standing on the brink of something bigger. However, reading this 21 years later reminds me of something else: homework!

Maybe it’s because I don’t have kids (and the fact I’ll never have kids) that I didn’t find A Good Enough Parent all that interesting. Instead it was rather dry and psychological. Nancy Pearl says this book is a must for any new parent. I honestly do not know when any new parent would have the time! Pearl also goes on to say, “Be forewarned: Bettelheim’s perspective is very psychoanalytical” (Book Lust p 30). He does make the text a little easier (interesting) by including personal anecdotes and compelling stories to punctuate his point.

Lines I like: “None of this holds true for what happens between a parent and child. Anything that occurs in their relationship is heir to a long and complicated history” (p 5).
“I feel that a parent’s most important task is to get a feeling for what things may mean to his child” (p 14).
“Parental anxiety makes life very difficult for parent and child, since the child responds to the anxiety of the parents with even more severe anxiety” (p 41).

BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “Babies: A Readers Guide” (p 30).



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