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Loving Our Children; Loving Ourselves
by Paul Zucker

There is an old saying which notes that you cannot truly love another until you learn to love yourself. The truth of this is never more apparent than in trying to have a relationship or raise a child.

Paul Zucker's book Loving Our Children, Loving Ourselves - How We Achieve Our Mutual Happiness and Fulfillment is a guide to learning to love and accept ourselves, our families and our friends in order to have a more joyful and content life experience.

The basic principles in the book are honesty, allowing ourselves to feel and teaching and guiding our children toward a happy and independent adulthood. The lessons are taught in a gentle and compassionate way without having to resort to punishments or demeaning behaviour on the part of the parent or the child. Zucker makes it clear that children should be a cherished part of our lives and not merely a burden or an obligation.

"Children are such radiant beings when allowed to shine. Their brilliance, the light shining through their being, should be preserved and cultivated, so that their pure energy can continue to renew, inspire, and positively transform our manner of being in the world. Unfortunately, however, we often see sad spiritless faces; worn down by forces beyond their comprehension, they flower and wither - transformed into ghosts of their true selves." - Paul Zucker, author of Loving Our Children, Loving Ourselves

"There is no greater gift we can give our children than help them connect their talents with their passion." (Chapter 4, pg. 99) This quote sums up much of what this book has to offer: concrete and sensible ways to communicate to our children the rainbow of colours that make up life and all its facets. The author also imparts wisdom to take with us through parenthood, which is that one of the greatest joys to be found is love, pride and compassion for ourselves in whatever we choose to do.

Zucker gives a wonderful set of guidelines on how to be honest with your children and others in a meaningful and connective way. His respect for children as people in their own right is apparent throughout the book. One of his commitments says, "Today I will deepen my relationship with my children by not just relating to them as a parent but as a human being." (Chapter 2, pg. 55) His message is to remember that as human beings, we make mistakes, get angry, sad or cry. He teaches us to take responsibility for our feelings and actions and not make our children responsible for them.

"Each day I will remind myself that my children are born with an individual temperament that is neither inherently bad or good." (Chapter 8, pg. 198) The chapter on Happiness and Fulfillment strives to remind parents that these little beings we are charged with raising come ready equipped with their own personalities, and that our job is not to change those personalities but, rather, to mold a good person out of the clay you are given, and to respect their individuality in doing so. The subtitle of the chapter is Actualization and it is defined as dealing with reality and not with what could have been, or unrealistic ideals which can come with our own expectations.

Loving Our Children, Loving Ourselves is inspiring and eye opening in its attempt to help us understand human nature specifically as it pertains to the parent/child relationship and the complexities inherent in that relationship. It is a wonderful guide to gentle, respectful and positive parenting.

Book review by Nancy Gazzola

To Purchase:
   • Loving Our Children, Loving Ourselves at Amazon.com
   • Loving Our Children, Loving Ourselves at Amazon UK
   • Loving Our Children, Loving Ourselves at Amazon Canada

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