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October/November 2013

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Learning By Ear The Parenting Years: "Because I Said So!" With a lot of celebrity parents in the news—the royal couple and Brad and Angelina, for example—it's nice to see media attention on family life and what's good for children. One of the parenting challenges people are talking about more openly than ever is the problem of how we can create emotional closeness with our children while at the same time providing limits and expectations that are good for them but may make them suffer. What a lot of these state-of-the-art parenting audios explain is that when you truly make your children a priority—in your actions as well as your words— you set up a secure emotional bond with them that gives you credibility during conflicts, teaches them love and trust, and gives them confidence that they can do difficult things in life. Hardly any of us are prepared for the range of challenges and feelings we experience when we're raising children. For many of us, it's the most rewarding and demanding time of our lives. These audios offer ways to think about what you're doing with your kids, make a few adjustments, and feel reasonably good about yourself as a parent. Good listening and bon courage!—Thomas Walken THE BIG DISCONNECT: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age DUCT TAPE PARENTING: A Less Is More Approach to Raising Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient Kids Catherine Steiner-Adair Read by Kirsten Potter Vicki Hoefle Read by Vicki Hoefle With her beautiful tone and savvy interpretations, Kirsten Potter shows she was a superb choice to read this parenting advice. The author believes that children's involvement with social media, screen games, and the Internet exposes them to adult life too soon and prevents their emotional engagement with their families. In practical, silky language Steiner-Adair explains that today's electronic connections are more spellbinding than table games, phone calls, or TV. Handheld screens and earbuds put kids into a trance and don't teach them the trust, empathy, optimism, and resilience that only family members can offer. As she delivers the author's ample evidence and remedies for these threats to healthy development, Potter's appealing voice strikes the perfect level of urgency without lapsing into drama or stealing attention from this compelling information. T.W. A veteran parent educator narrates her finely tuned lesson on helping children grow into responsible adults. Though she sounds like she wants to be engaged and helpful, Hoefle's otherwise pleasant speaking voice sounds somewhat pedantic and lacking in energy. It's not a good vehicle for this program. Using examples of many kinds of parentchild struggles, she shows how careless parenting reinforces kids to rely too much on others and not enough on themselves. By saying and doing less (thus, the duct tape to keep us quiet), parents create a space in which kids figure out their own solutions. The advice, based on familiar psychological principles, is a good reminder that beleaguered parents have thoughtful options for influencing children, rather than defaulting into reactive authoritarian approaches, doing what's expedient, or going passive. T.W. Harper Audio 10 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780062298850 $24.99 50 I AudioFile/www.audiofilemagazine.com HighBridge Audio 9 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD ISBN 9781622311569 $29.95 (also DD) Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9781622311583 $66.00 (also DD) PARENTING WITHOUT POWER STRUGGLES: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm and Connected Susan Stiffelman Read by Susan Stiffelman A family therapist says it's OK to be in charge of your family—not in a reactive, authoritarian way but in a way that reflects an informed acceptance of the awesome responsibility of raising children. Stiffelman's lovely voice, sweet but intelligent, is nicely captured in this production, which sounds intimate and enormously engaging. Her emotional availability makes this audiobook a soothing way to ponder her advice and encouragement. She says parents can choose ways to prevent childhood omnipotence and not get sucked into endless arguments. With her Socratic questions and openness, her nonjudgmental advice will make parents think. This is an audiobook that will help parents be steady in tough situations, thoughtful regarding expectations, and confident when having difficult discussions with their kids. T.W. Tantor Media 8.5 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD ISBN 9781452612799 $34.99 (also MP3, DD) Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9781452642796 $71.99

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