The inspiration for Conversations with Your Child came from my own childhood.
Both my parents were first generation immigrants. They grew up in the depression and matured during WW II.
By the time I was born, my parents were established and successful. They wanted the American Dream that was envisioned then: a nice home, children, and vacations.
Child rearing was focused on the physical caring for children: food, clothes, school. Behavior, values and socialization was managed in the community faith-based environment. Religion was the source of information about relationships and character. TV became a part of the American childhood during school age, but it was very different and more disciplined by moral guidelines and less access.
We were observers of adult conversation-not participants. My parents loved to talk about travel in foreign countries; my siblings and I all embraced that interest. Looking back, I idealized and loved my parents. Later I felt I had missed out on communication skills due to the lack of communication in my home, but it was not part of their parenting.
Children are the same today. They pay attention to what their parents do, say and to their interests. In my book, I want to encourage parents to learn about development and interact with their children at their level of brain development and physical ability keeping expectations and understanding realistic in terms of their age and ability and to provide children with communication and relationship skills.
Parenting today includes different challenges that may seem more dangerous than former times, but there have always been challenges. Life has more stuff and distractions that parents can monitor successfully by developing closer relationships with their children through conversations.
I believe parents need to spend time talking and listening to their children-to know them and to let your children know you. Parents can become advocates and cheer leaders, as well as parents and protectors. I hope parents will make it a priority to teach family values and social manners that have become less available from institutions.
I encourage parents to reveal their sacred self to their children.