Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Red Flags or Red Herrings?" by Susan Engel

I grabbed this book at the library on an impulse. Who doesn't want a magic ball for their child's future? I read it in a couple days--it was well-written with lots of stories, just the way I like it. The premise is: there are some things you can change about your kids and some you can't. Like if your kid is shy or has lots of energy, you can't change that aspect of their personality although it may shift as they grow older.

Unfortunately, after I got done reading this book I was confused as to what things are problematic and what things I should just roll with. It sounds like they are different for each child. Am I missing the little problematic behaviors that will add up to Sammy being a troubled teen? This one story is stuck in my head of a boy who was popular, happy, smart, etc., but grew up to be a loser adult because his mom ignored things like him stealing a quarter off the dresser and denying it.

Also, I don't think the author meant for me to get this from the book, but one message I got loud and clear was: If I am a normal, sane, middle-class American, my kids have a good chance of growing up to be okay. Think normal and sane, Anona, normal and sane. Normal and sane, normal and sane...


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