The Coming Parent Revolution, by Jeane Westin (Rand McNally, $12.95). A curious mixture of straightforward commonsense and right-wing preaching, this uneven book emphasizes that children do not rule the world, advice that cannot be stated too often in this the country that invented "permissiveness." Especially valuable are ideas on how to stand up to recalcitrant teenagers and how to find support in other beleaguered parents.
Parent Power! A Common-Sense Approach to Raising Your Children in the Eighties, by John K. Rosemond (East Woods Press, $12.95). Definitely folksy, though usually sensible, advice from a North Carolina psychologist who writes a newspaper column. Happily Rosemond relies more on his own experience with his son and daughter than on psychological jargon. He covers childrearing until age 13 (the age of his eldest) and writes entertainingly, though some may find him overly anecdotal.
Parent Tricks-of-the Trade, by Kathleen Touw, illustrated by Loel Barr (Acropolis, $9.95). Turning the pages of this book is the equivalent to 50 long gossip sessions with all the parents you know. It covers all those small clever ideas that each family thinks up and loves to share: Protect a smashed finger with a plastic hair roller; buy squeaky toys for toddlers at the local pet store.
Your Adolescent: An Owner's Manual, by Carol Eisen Rinzler, drawings by Devera Ehrenberg (Atheneum, $8.95). Carol Rinzler takes what is perhaps the only sane approach to the problems of raising an adolescent: humor. For instance, if you are determined to get tough with yours, first read her chapter on "How to Discipline Your Adolescent Without Leaving Marks." There you will learn that, "all things considered, reason is probably a better weapon than, say, threatening to run away from home, since it is unlikely your adolescent will lend you the plane fare." Fun to read and good advice.
Your Second Child, by Joan Solomon Weiss (Summit, $15.95). The author--a medical writer and the mother of two children--treats in a most readable style the changes the birth of a second child can cause in a family. Among them, there are the physiological similarities and differences a mother experiences during a second pregnancy, the family's altered financial considerations, and the effects upon the first child. Weiss stresses the need for parents to avoid guilt feelings toward the first child, and the need to guard against the "second born, second-best" phenomenon. The psychological stresses of a new second child are considerable, but the parent who knows what to look for can keep them under control.
Our Special Child: A Guide to Successful Parenting of Handicapped Children, by Bette M. Ross (Walker, $12.95). This admirable book is aimed at parents who wish to raise their handicapped child to a life as normal as he or she is capable of leading. The author, herself the mother of a Downs Syndrome child, interleaves a heartwarming but unsentimental narrative of her own son's progress--and the progress of the family as a whole, from the excruciating first moment of realization that something is terribly wrong with the baby-- with practical advice and information. One of her most important messages is this: "When professionals make negative predictions about your child's potential, sometimes they know less than you do. When experts tell you something will not work, it may mean only that they have not tried it." An exciting and inspiring book.
Working Mothers: How You Can Have a Career and Be a Good Parent, Too, by Kay Kuzma (Stratford/Harper & Row, $14.95). It's a pity Kay Kuzma didn't title her book "Working Parents," since nearly everything she says also applies to fathers. Although exhorting readers to do all the usual--"Get Organized," "Make school lunches ahead"--she emphasizes that parents can't do everything, that children are young for a very short time, and that spending "quality time" with them is just as important as any investment made in social life or career.
Growing Up Healthy: A Parent's Guide to Nutrition, by Myron Winick, M.D. (Morrow, $10.50). As the saying goes, "You are what you eat," and at no time is it more true than in childhood. Dr. Winick, director of the Center for Nutrition at Columbia University Medical School, has a straightforward approach to childhood nutrition. He is moreover refreshingly devoid of the tone of moral rectitude so many nutrition writers adopt today. His subject is human physiology, not psychology, and he offers sound medical reasons for nursing babies, introducing them to a variety of foods later on, and seeing that they venture beyond hamburgers and french fries as teenagers.