By Robert Peterson
She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live. I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to close in on me. She was building a sand castle or something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea. Hello, she said. I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child. I’m building, she said.
I see that. What is it? I asked, not caring.
Oh, I don’t know, I just like the feel of sand.
That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes. A sandpiper glided by.
That’s a joy, the child said.
It’s a what?
It’s a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy. The bird went gliding down the beach.
Good-bye, joy, I muttered to myself, hello, pain, and turned to walk on. I was depressed; my life seemed completely out of balance.
What’s your name? She wouldn’t give up.
Robert, I answered. I’m Robert Peterson.
Mine’s Wendy. … I’m six.
She giggled. You’re funny, she said.
In spite of my gloom I laughed too and walked on. Her musical giggle followed me. Come again, Mr. P., she called. We’ll have another happy day. The days and weeks that followed belong to others: a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, an ailing mother. The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out of the dishwater.
I need a sandpiper, I said to myself, gathering up my coat. The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was chilly, but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed. I had forgotten the child and was startled when she appeared.
Hello, Mr. P., she said. Do you want to play?
What did you have in mind? I asked, with a twinge of annoyance.
I don’t know. You say.
How about charades? I asked sarcastically.
The tinkling laughter burst forth again. I don’t know what that is.
Then let’s just walk. Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face. Where do you live? I asked.
Over there. She pointed toward a row of summer cottages. Strange, I thought, in winter.
Where do you go to school?
I don’t go to school. Mommy says we’re on vacation. She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind was on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day. Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.
Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in no mood to even greet Wendy. I thought I saw her mother on the porch and felt like demanding she keep her child at home. Look, if you don’t mind, I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me, I’d rather be alone today.
She seemed unusually pale and out of breath, I thought.
Why do you want to be alone? she asked.
I turned to her and shouted, Because my mother died! and thought, My God, why am I saying this to a little child?
Oh, she said quietly, then this is a bad day.
Yes, I said, and yesterday and the day before, and—oh, go away!
Did it hurt? she inquired.
Did what hurt? I was exasperated with her, with myself.
When she died?
Of course it hurt! I snapped, misunderstanding, wrapped up in myself. I strode off.
A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn’t there. Feeling guilty, ashamed and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn-looking young woman with honey-colored hair opened the door.
Hello, I said. I’m Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was.
Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much. I’m afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please accept my apologies.
Not at all. She’s a delightful child, I said, suddenly realizing that I meant it.
Where is she?
Wendy died last week, Mr. Peterson. She had leukemia. Maybe she didn’t tell you. Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. My breath caught. She loved this beach, so when she asked to come, we couldn’t say no. She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days. But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly. … Her voice faltered. She left something for you. … If only I can find it. Could you wait a moment while I look?
I nodded dumbly, my mind racing for something, anything, to say to this lovely young woman. She handed me a smeared envelope, with MR. P printed in bold, childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues—a yellow beach, a blue sea, and a brown bird. Underneath was carefully printed: A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY. Tears welled up in my eyes, and a heart that had almost forgotten to love opened wide. I took Wendy’s mother in my arms. I’m so sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I muttered over and over, and we wept together.
The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study. Six words—one for each year of her life—that speak to me of harmony, courage, undemanding love. A gift from a child with sea-blue eyes and hair the color of sand, who taught me the gift of love.
Lois and Joel Davitz
Learn to substitute some other behavior for nagging whenever you get the impulse to nag. Parents can use a wide variety of substitutes when the impulse to nag occurs. One parent decided to say something complimentary to her son whenever she felt like nagging him. At first her substitute compliments seemed forced and artificial to both her son and herself, but they realized that she was sincerely trying to break a long-established habit, and they accepted this initial awkwardness. After awhile, the substitute behavior became more and more natural, and the frequency of her nagging decreased dramatically.
Parents who go through this process of stopping their nagging almost always report certain positive consequences. Perhaps the most important and the most rewarding consequence is the decrease in family stress. The number of arguments drops sharply, and both parents and their [children] have a chance to learn how to live together without the irritation of petty bickering.
An interesting result we have noticed on a number of occasions is a change in the [child’s] behavior that had been the focus of nagging. The [child], for example, who has been nagged about not doing homework begins to do the work after the parents stop nagging about it. This suggests that sometimes nagging actually provokes the undesired behavior.
All parents dislike nagging their children. However, it is sometimes difficult to find a reasonable alternative that will propel children to do what needs to be done. Here are some tips for getting action out of your communications with your children.
Excerpted from the book, "How to Live (Almost) Happily with a Teenager". Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The young Mother set her foot on the path of life.
“Is the way long?” she asked.
And her Guide said” “Yes. And the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning.”
But the young Mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed with them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them and life was good, and the young Mother cried, “Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.”
The night came, and storm, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the Mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said, “Oh, Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come,” and the Mother said, “This is better than the brightness of day, for I have taught my children courage.”
And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary, and the Mother was weary, but at all times she said to the children, “A little patience and we are there.” So the children climbed and when they reached the top, they said, “We could not have done it without you, Mother.” And the Mother, when she lay down that night, looked at the stars and said: “This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today I have given them strength.”
And the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth—clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the Mother said: “Look up. Lift your eyes to the Light.” And the children looked and saw above the clouds an everlasting Glory, and it guided them and brought them beyond the darkness. And that night the Mother said, “This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God.”
And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years; and the Mother grew old, and she was little and bent. But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage. And when the way was hard, they helped their Mother, and when the way was rough, they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond the hill they could see a shining road and a golden gate flung wide.
And the Mother said: “I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know that the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them.”
And the children said: “You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates.”
And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said: “We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence.”
© The Family International.
A touching slideshow presentation for mothers and mothers-to-be.
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“If we can climb this mountain, then there is nothing that we cannot overcome together!”
I can still see my dad struggling to smile and look hopeful as he pointed toward a rocky mountain about 100 feet from the highway. I was 13 at the time, and my dad, older brother, and I were driving through the scorching rocky deserts of Mexico back to the United States to take care of some business.
My parents had been doing full-time mission work in Mexico, and I loved being right beside them at every step. Life was beautiful there, and I enjoyed it very much.
At this particular time, however, things weren’t so great. My parents were having some difficulties in their marriage, and they had decided to live apart for a few months. I didn’t understand why or exactly know what that meant, except that it seemed pretty serious. Mom had moved away a few weeks before, and I worried and wondered if she would return.
For most of the journey, I could tell that my dad was dealing with the difficulty of the situation. He looked sad, worried, and tired. The air was thick with a feeling of weariness and insecurity. At the same time, all three of us began to feel physically sick with headaches, mainly due to the heat, but also because of the emotions of it all; I remember feeling like we could all easily burst into tears. It went on like this for almost a whole day when suddenly, in the middle of nowhere, Dad stopped driving.
I can still remember his face; the tears that he was holding back seemed to glisten in his eyes as he got out of the car and told us to come with him. Reluctantly—as teenagers can be—we slowly got out of the car. There, about 100 feet away, rose the big crag of a mountain—all rock. It was at least a couple of hundred feet high and there certainly wasn’t any sort of a path leading up to the top.
The heat raged down on our heads as we squinted up at the rocks, then quickly turned around to ensure there weren’t any wandering rattlesnakes or coyotes. We stood there silently wondering what we were supposed to do, when Dad spoke these words:
“If we can climb this mountain, then there is nothing that we cannot overcome together!”
Somehow he knew that this was the healing that each of us needed.
Amazingly, my brother and I, as horrid as we were feeling, didn’t argue with him. I stood there, looking up at this rocky hill, and actually felt challenged to give it a try. Sure, we were tired, sick, and sad, but man, looking up at the top, I knew it was going to feel good to stand up there, having conquered the rocks.
We left the camper on the side of the road and, without looking back or stopping to take anything with us, we started climbing upward. After about 10 minutes of climbing, we began having small talk as we wove our way through the rocks and crevasses … a little “Thanks, Dad” here and “Hey, you did that fast!” there. This eased our discomforts and helped to bring focus on the task at hand.
We hadn’t said much when we neared the top, nothing significant at least, yet the silent bond we forged on that climb was the beginning of our personal healing.
It took us a good two to three hours in the scorching sun before we reached the top, and by then, the wind was blowing and the sun was beginning to set with a gorgeous orange and yellow glow. We were breathless, both from the climb and the panoramic beauty we were privileged to see. We laughed, we talked, and we allowed ourselves to feel our great Creator’s love. We let go of our troubles, and the smiles returned to our faces. As exhausted as we were, I remember feeling so alive, so free, almost … empowered.
We climbed down from that mountain changed and renewed. I knew that everything was going to be okay. And it was! My mom came home a couple of months later and everything was back to normal again. God had touched us through the beauty of His nature and the simple illustration of climbing a mountain; He showed us that there wasn’t anything that we couldn’t overcome together, as a family! And He made sure that we felt His love and presence.
Taken from http://just1thing.com/podcast/2012/9/30/a-climb-that-healed.html
Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
By Samuel Keating
For my daughter Audrey’s first birthday, my wife and I planned to have a small celebration with a few friends and family members at home; instead we ended up with a cupcake-themed extravaganza at the restaurant her grandparents manage. Admittedly, it was probably more for everyone else’s benefit. Audrey spent much of the time observing the proceedings warily from the safety of someone’s arms and flatly refused to pose for photos by her lone candle, despite (or because of) much encouragement to do so.
People talk about how fast time flies, and I feel it really does. Maybe that’s because I’m getting older. When I was a child, days, weeks, and months—not to mention years—seemed to pass so slowly; now it seems like only a few weeks ago that I first met Audrey. I remember that day so well, along with all my first impressions and emotions as I watched the nurse give Audrey her first bath, and then her falling asleep in my arms for the first time.
Before she was born, I often heard parents talk about the joys of having children, but I wasn’t convinced. I believed those parents truly thought they were happy, but I didn’t understand how. Weren’t their lives more stressful, tiring, and hectic than before? Didn’t they have less free time? Weren’t they embarrassed by their children turning over a plate of food, frazzled by their children’s whininess when they were tired, annoyed by their clinginess or repeated petty disobediences? I was sure I would be. While I enjoyed being around other people’s children, I felt I valued my time and comfort too much to ever have any of my own.
Now, however, I can’t imagine my life without Audrey. Every smile, every peal of laughter, every new discovery she makes, every new toy she masters, every animal sound she learns fills me with deep happiness and gratitude for her presence in my life. Her latest discovery is that a piercing shriek is an effective way to get my attention when she wants me to play with her or read her a book, but even that doesn’t take away from the love I feel for her or the happiness she brings.
Article and photo courtesy of Activated magazine.
William J. Bennett, book excerpt
Getting your child’s education off to a good start does not take extraordinary efforts or extravagant stimulation. You do not need a degree in child psychology. Raising a child does not require “trained caregivers” to supply expertise that parents lack. On the contrary, you are the most qualified person to teach and guide your young child, because he is a part of you and loves you.
You should supply five basic ingredients in these years before school: your love, protection, and care; your time; a positive learning environment; an attitude that values learning; and strong moral training.
Your Love, Protection, and Care
All children come into the world fragile and helpless. In order to survive even a few hours, they need adults to supply food, shelter, warmth, and care. But meeting their physical needs is just the start. To develop well, from the very beginning children need a family. A deep commitment from at least one responsible, caring adult is crucial. (Obviously, having both a mother and a father in the home is the best arrangement.) Every child needs someone who gives uncompromising love and boundless devotion, someone whom that child can learn to love back. This is a basic fact of human growth and emotional development. Nothing is more crucial than giving your young child the feeling of being loved and cared for, and instilling a basic sense of trust that he can depend on you for nurture and protection.
The emotional bond between parent and child has powerful effects on education. Preschoolers who feel loved are more likely to be confident, and confidence makes exploring a new world much easier. A strong, loving relationship increases youngsters’ eagerness to learn new things. For example, a child wants to learn how to read in part because he wants to please his parents, whom he sees reading and who encourage his own efforts to read. Children like to learn because they love their parents, and know their parents love them back!
Forming a close bond with children is a natural part of the parenting process. Most moms and dads need no urging and little guidance here; these manifestations of love spring from the heart. The kinds of actions and gestures you instinctively want to offer your child are exactly the kinds he needs to gain a sense of nurture and protection. Holding and cuddling him from the day he is born, talking to him, playing with him, setting rules that are good for him, telling him over and over again that you love him—such actions and expressions have a profound impact on his development now, and on the kind of student he’ll be later. Children thrive when they have parents who are loving and dependable, when they know that, no matter what may happen in their lives, someone will look after them, keep them safe, and show them the limits of good behavior. When it comes to young children, loving and learning go hand in hand.
The best way to show your love and help your child learn is to spend time with him. Shaping good attitudes and habits takes time. Setting good examples takes time. The encouragement your youngster craves—whether it’s for learning how to climb the stairs, how to read his first word, or how to write his name—requires your time and presence. You have to be available, perhaps more than you imagined.
It has become popular in recent years to distinguish between “quality time” and “quantity time.” Some parents want to believe that they can spend fewer hours with their children so long as they put that shared time to good use. The fact is that children do not flourish on small, concentrated doses of attention from mothers and fathers. They need your frequent company if they are to learn from you. This may be a hard truth to accept in these modern days, but it is reality. For children, quality time is quantity time. When it comes to teaching and learning, there is no substitute for lots of time together—and children know it.
In the eyes of your child, your presence in his life is proof that you are interested and that you care. It shows that he comes first—not your work, or your friends, or a ball game on TV. In his book The Hurried Child, Professor David Elkind tells this anecdote about a conversation he overheard when visiting his son’s nursery school class:
Child A: “My daddy is a doctor and he makes a lot of money and we have a swimming pool.”
Child B: “My daddy is a lawyer and he flies to Washington and talks to the President.”
Child C: “My daddy owns a company and we have our own airplane.”
My son (with aplomb, of course): “My daddy is here!” with a proud look in my direction.
Keep in mind that one reason the preschool years are unique is that, in all likelihood, this is the period when your child wants your company more than he wants anyone else’s. He’s interested in what you have to say (most of the time, anyway). You’re his best pal. Later, he’ll often be elsewhere: in class, with his friends, or in his room, away from mom and dad. The preschool years offer the most opportunities to be together. Don’t neglect them.
Chore Time Is Teaching Time
If you’re like most parents, much time with your child is also chore time. Sure, you’d like nothing more than to spend most of the day reading aloud, taking trips to the zoo, and playing “educational” games that will help him grow. Unfortunately, you’ve also got to get an oil change, rake the backyard, take out the trash, and clean the spare bedroom before Uncle George comes to visit. The good news is that those pesky chores also have teaching value. With a little effort, you can turn many household routines into good learning opportunities for your child. He learns an enormous amount in your company if you simply talk to him as you work. Never mind feeling slightly foolish. Explain what you are doing. Tell him why you are doing it. He’ll pick up all sorts of vocabulary and absorb knowledge about what things are and how they work.
Almost any household activity can become an informal lesson. Writing a grocery list can be a perfect chance to practice recognizing some letters. (“I’m writing the word butter. Do you remember what that first letter is?”)
Cooking invariably involves weighing, measuring, counting, and grouping. (“I have to fill this cup until it is half full. Will you tell me when the milk gets to this line right here?”) Doing the laundry can be a sorting game. (“Why don’t you help me put all the socks in this pile, and the shirts in that pile?”) Sprinkle your routines with questions. Running errands in the car: “Who can count the green cars on the road? In the study: “How many books do I have on my desk?”
Daily routines draw on a whole range of organizational and problem solving skills, the same skills your child will someday need to complete a school assignment or project at work. He can learn the value of planning ahead, and then executing the plan. He gradually comprehends that every large job is really a series of smaller tasks. He sees that work is a means to an end. When he helps, he learns about teamwork.
Certain character lessons will seep in too. By watching you, he learns about sticking with a task until it’s finished. He sees how to perform a duty thoroughly and responsibly. If given the chance to make even small contributions, he begins to learn the satisfaction of a job well done.
Above all, keep talking. The stimulation, the exchange of ideas, and the responses elicited will all serve to build up a host of skills, making chore time a teaching time, and making it more enjoyable for both of you.
A Positive Learning Environment
One of your fundamental jobs is to give your child some experiences that pique his curiosity and supply fundamental knowledge about the world. This does not mean bombarding him with glitzy, noisy stimuli all day long, going out and buying lots of fancy “educational” gear, or enrolling him in the most expensive preschool in town. It mostly entails making sure he has interesting things to do. Since the world is so novel to him, and he naturally wants to explore it, this is not a difficult task. In fact, for children this age, a “learning environment” often consists of everyday activities—playing with toys, watching a parent do chores, or running around the backyard.
Expose your child to a widening range of experiences as he grows. A baby who has just learned to crawl is a little Marco Polo, anxious to explore all those mysterious corners of your living room and kitchen. Give him the freedom to investigate while you are nearby. (Make sure you’ve taken precautions to childproof your home!) As he grows, give him changes of scenery. Take him with you on errands to the bank or hardware store. Take a trip across the street to meet your neighbor’s new puppy. Find a hill for your toddler to run up and down. Just about any place you go, there will be something to stimulate his curiosity.
As he grows through the preschool years, organize little “field trips” to check out less familiar bits of the world. Spend an afternoon at the science museum. Take him to the airport to see planes land and take off. Or into the country to get a pumpkin. Lie on your backs to watch the clouds on a summer afternoon. And, of course, read all sorts of books to him.
Introduce your child to different people: extended family members, neighbors, and figures in the community. Point out the police officer, the fireman, the postman. Youngsters who know only their immediate family are less likely to thrive in the larger world and may be either too trusting or too nervous of others.
Choosing Toys That Teach
Toys are the “tools” of learning for kids in the pre-kindergarten years. Keep in mind, though, that rarely does the teaching value of a toy have a direct relation to how many batteries it uses or lights it flashes. A high price tag does not make it better for your child. Expensive toys that claim to teach tykes are often less “educational” than some pots and a big wooden spoon from the kitchen. Computer software is often little better for kids than sitting and watching TV. It certainly isn’t as helpful as spending time with a parent reading, counting, playing games, or taking a walk in the park.
Often it’s the simple toys that do the best job putting little imaginations and muscles to work. For toddlers, the old standbys you played with in your childhood are still fine: balls, blocks, cups, pans, plastic rings, simple puzzles, a sand box. A well-stocked box of construction paper, crayons, washable markers, glue, buttons, felt, and safety scissors is a treasure chest for preschoolers. A big basket filled with grown-up clothes and costumes (dime store crowns, plastic armor, discarded necklaces) is a big draw for most children.
There is no need to keep adding toy after toy to the mix. Most parents eventually learn that the more toys they buy, the more toys they see sitting untouched in the back of the closet. Children who possess several chests full of playthings often flit from one to another without really appreciating any of them. Ironically, too many toys can lead to boredom—or worse, to a spoiled and ungrateful child who constantly thinks he’s entitled to another present.
An Attitude That Values Learning
How do you teach that you value learning? First, and perhaps most important, by your good example. Your actions always speak volumes to your child. Your own reading, wondering out loud, pointing things out, and showing a general interest in the world are powerful signs of your attitude about learning.
You also instill ideals about education with your excitement over your child’s discoveries and achievements. Enthusiasm is contagious with preschoolers. If he sees you responding warmly to his attempts to learn, he’ll take pleasure in them, too. Ask questions about what he’s doing, and answer any questions he has. Take part in his activities by introducing him to a new book or game, or helping him with something that’s giving him trouble. Even just playing with your child will be interpreted as a sign that you care about what he’s learning.
Keep in mind that it is difficult for anyone else to take a parent’s place when a young child looks for reinforcement about learning. Chances are, no one else (except perhaps grandpa and grandma) will get as excited as you when your child takes his first step, or speaks his first word, or counts to ten for the first time. No one else is going to be able to muster quite as much interest in that misshapen piece of clay he says is an elephant. The more you are there to encourage his efforts, the more he’ll want to learn.
Adult responses can mean everything. Imagine three children, each frequently receiving a particular message:
Little Girl: “Daddy! Look what I found!”
Dad: “What have you got there? That’s a beautiful leaf. Where did you find it?”
Little Girl: “In the yard.”
Dad: “Where do you think it came from?”
Little Girl: “That tree.”
Dad: “I bet it did. What does it feel like?”
Little Girl: “Like paper.”
Little Girl: “Daddy! Look what I found!”
Dad: “We need to go, honey. Leave that here.”
Little Girl: “It’s a red leaf.”
Dad: “I told you to put it down. It might have bugs on it. Now come on, we don’t have time for that.”
Little girl (dropping the leaf): “Yuck. Leaves have bugs on them.”
Little Girl: “Look what I found!”
Baby-sitter: “That’s nice.”
Little Girl: “It’s a leaf.”
Baby-sitter: “I see that. Why don’t you go play with your toys?”
Little Girl: “I want to show Daddy my leaf.”
Baby-sitter: “Daddy won’t be home until after you’ve gone to bed. You know that. You can show him on the weekend, OK?”
It’s not difficult, is it, to tell which child’s curiosity is being encouraged, and which ones’ inquisitiveness is being dampened?
Early Moral Training
A child who is already learning about traits such as responsibility, self- discipline, and perseverance before he begins school has a good shot at doing well at his studies. Conversely, if he shows up in class with bad habits such as laziness and disrespect for elders, there is little that teachers can do. An education disaster is already in the works.
This is not to say that your preschooler must always be an angel. All children test boundaries and stray from model behavior. In the end, however, despite some who will tell you that peers or the popular culture have more influence than nurturing parents on how a child acts, the buck stops squarely with you. You are responsible for the way your young child behaves.
You teach your child good character in several ways. You do it by your good example. Little eyes are watching. As you do, so will your child do. You teach virtue through high expectations and clear, consistent rules. You also form character in children by talking to them about good and bad behavior. There is much unwarranted cynicism and embarrassment today about “moralizing.” Little children need to be told about right and wrong, and when adults stand silent, then we shouldn’t be surprised if young people grow up with muddled notions of how to conduct themselves. Parents can talk about good character in the context of everyday actions, as well as in stories they read to children. They can talk about it in the context of their faith—which for most of us serves as the bedrock of morality.
Teachers say that many moms and dads are falling down on the job of character training. They are not sending to school children who are well behaved, ready to work hard, and respectful of adults. Says a Texas teacher, “Some kids come to class with an attitude that they don’t have to listen to you, that just because you’re an adult, you don’t have the right to tell them what to do. They think they’re in charge, because they don’t have that structure at home.” Frequent among educators, these exceedingly sad commentaries explain much that is wrong with our schools.
Reference: The Educated Child - A Parents Guide from Preschool through Eighth Grade. Free Press (1999)