Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Upbringing:  A Discussion Handbook for Parents of Young Children

The link takes you to a Google preview with some links to other books by the author.  There is also a review of the book by Dr Mary Clark at Aquinas and More.

James Stenson is a Catholic, and writes from a Christian perspective.  

This is a book I like having on my shelves but haven't made full use of.  Why would that be?  I think for a couple of reasons:

One is that it is, as the subtitle implies, mostly a discussion outline.  It does include a couple of chapters that talk about general principles of parenting, but the main part of the book is a detailed list of things that people should have taught their children by the time they are adults.   The idea is to work through each topic with a discussion group or at least with your spouse, and I think it could be very valuable if done that way.  I suppose you could even use it as a springboard to talk about various issues with your teens.

The other reason, I suppose, is that does not discuss principles so much as lay them out for consideration.   What that means is that the reader has to do the unpacking -- there are a few, but not a lot of stories to illustrate the points; nor is there generally a line of reasoning to follow, or studies cited to support his points.   I think that because it is meant to be discussed, the readers are supposed to do the dialectic and narrative part of it themselves.

So the reason I haven't gotten as much out of the book as I probably could is not a flaw in the book; it is to do with its form.   I am not sure whether I should keep it or not.   I probably will try to dig into it just a bit more before I put it in the give-away box.

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I would love to hear your thoughts on this!