"Parents find themselves in states of confusion, doubt and helplessness not only because childrearing values have become less clear and consensual but also because today they face new and bigger challenges than ever before."

There is no denying that parenting is a complicated and difficult process. The fact that this process is becoming increasingly more involved in the modern era is a central idea to this text. In it, Omer describes the impact of rising divorce rates, the disintegration of the extended family as a support network, and the increase in negative influences on children from the media, the internet, and peers as key challenges to modern parents. At the same time, he points out that modern culture undermines the authority of parents, making it all the more difficult for them to oppose these insidious influences. All hope is not lost, however, because Omer provides concrete tools and practices to help today’s parents provide firm yet loving guidance for their offspring.

This is an extremely well-written book, offering advice that is clear, easy to understand, and well-attuned to the everyday realities of parenting. Omer provides practical suggestions on an impressive breadth of issues—from knowing when to turn to others for support and advice to imposing limits and sanctions in ways that emphasize care rather than punishment. A particular strength of the book is that it avoids the judgmental and patronizing tone that can be so off-putting in many parenting self-help books. Although there are a few grammatical issues, these in no way detract from the overall readability of the volume, which combines explicit explanation and illustration with anecdotal and authoritative evidence. The balance of research with practical advice makes for a book that is both enjoyable and instructive to read.

Return to USR Home