Spare the Rod – Manipulate the Child?

October 4, 2009 at 1:07 am Leave a comment

6a0105368f4fef970b0120a58d528f970b-200wiAs a Boomer child growing up in the 50’s, my parents were heavily influenced by one of the best selling authors of all time – Dr. Benjamin Spock (not the Spock of “Live long and prosper!”) Dr. Spock’s seminal work, Baby and Child Care, was filled with practical and radical (for its time) information that helped millions of parents cope with their fears about caring for and raising their children.

Dr. Spock offered a reassuring alternative to the rigid rules and practices fostered by the medical establishment prior to the publication of his manual. His contention was that parents know their children best and could be trusted to make good decisions. In particular, he stressed that providing natural affection and responsiveness to your children, adopting a more permissive and communicative style, and allowing your children to explore and experiment was not going harm them and, in fact, would result in healthy, happy children.

Fast forward some sixty odd years since the penning of Dr. Spock’s masterpiece to the present day confusion of child rearing advice and techniques. While the methodology advocated in her book may not win any prizes from pediatricians and family practice physicians, the Torrance Public Library Foundation is delighted to be presenting “An Evening with Elizabeth Beckwith” this coming Wednesday, October 7 at 7:00 p.m. (Foundation members only are invited to a reception with the author beginning at 6:30 p.m.*) at the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library Community Meeting Room.

Ms. Beckwith
, a stand-up comedienne and author, has appeared on The Late Late Show and was one of seven comics featured in the Time magazine article “Funny: The Next Generation.” She has just written a book entitled Raising the Perfect Child Through Guilt and Manipulation. While the book is a satire of traditional parenting guides, it does have some sage advice mixed in with autobiographical information about the author and her family. Ms. Beckwith will be reading from her book, as well as talking about her experiences raising her children, and will answer questions from the audience.

An Evening with Elizabeth Beckwith is free to the public; however, the Foundation is suggesting a donation of $10.00 to help defray the cost of the program.  Copies of Raising the Perfect Child… will be available for purchase at the event.  And if learning about the real way to effectively raise children inspires you, try checking out one of the hundreds of titles the Library owns on the subject of child rearing.

* Attendees who wish to become members of the Foundation on the night of the program may purchase a membership between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

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