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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
review by Nancy Gazzola
• Loving Our Children, Loving Ourselves at Amazon.com
• Loving Our Children, Loving Ourselves at Amazon UK
• Loving Our Children, Loving Ourselves at Amazon Canada