Growing Each Other Up: When Our Children Become Our Teachers

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

From growing their children, parents grow themselves, learning the lessons their children teach. “Growing up”, then, is as much a developmental process of parenthood as it is of childhood. While countless books have been written about the challenges of parenting, nearly all of them position the parent as instructor and support-giver, the child as learner and in need of direction. But the parent-child relationship is more complicated and reciprocal; over time it transforms in remarkable, surprising ways. As our children grow up, and we grow older, what used to be a one-way flow of instruction and support, from parent to child, becomes instead an exchange. We begin to learn from them. The lessons parents learn from their offspring—voluntarily and involuntarily, with intention and serendipity, often through resistance and struggle—are embedded in their evolving relationships and shaped by the rapidly transforming world around them.

With Growing Each Other Up, Macarthur Prize–winning sociologist and educator Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot offers an intimately detailed, emotionally powerful account of that experience. Building her book on a series of in-depth interviews with parents around the country, she offers a counterpoint to the usual parental development literature that mostly concerns the adjustment of parents to their babies’ rhythms and the ways parents weather the storms of their teenage progeny. The focus here is on the lessons emerging adult children, ages 15 to 35, teach their parents. How are our perspectives as parents shaped by our children? What lessons do we take from them and incorporate into our worldviews? Just how much do we learn—often despite our own emotionally fraught resistance—from what they have seen of life that we, perhaps, never experienced? From these parent portraits emerges the shape of an education composed by young adult children—an education built on witness, growing, intimacy, and acceptance.

Growing Each Other Up is rich in the voices of actual parents telling their own stories of raising children and their children raising them; watching that fundamental connection shift over time. Parents and children of all ages will recognize themselves in these evocative and moving accounts and look at their own growing up in a revelatory new light.
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About the author

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot is the author of eleven books, including, most recently, Exit: The Endings That Set Us Free. She is the Emily Hargroves Fisher Professor of Education at Harvard University.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Sep 29, 2016
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780226377278
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / General
Family & Relationships / General
Family & Relationships / Life Stages / Teenagers
Family & Relationships / Parenting / General
Family & Relationships / Parenting / Parent & Adult Child
Psychology / Developmental / Adulthood & Aging
Psychology / Developmental / Child
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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This highly anticipated third edition of the Handbook of Parenting brings together an array of field-leading experts who have worked in different ways toward understanding the many diverse aspects of parenting. Contributors to the Handbook look to the most recent research and thinking to shed light on topics every parent, professional, and policymaker wonders about. Parenting is a perennially "hot" topic. After all, everyone who has ever lived has been parented, and the vast majority of people become parents themselves. No wonder bookstores house shelves of "how-to" parenting books, and magazine racks in pharmacies and airports overflow with periodicals that feature parenting advice. However, almost none of these is evidence-based. The Handbook of Parenting is. Period. Each chapter has been written to be read and absorbed in a single sitting, and includes historical considerations of the topic, a discussion of central issues and theory, a review of classical and modern research, and forecasts of future directions of theory and research. Together, the five volumes in the Handbook cover Children and Parenting, the Biology and Ecology of Parenting, Being and Becoming a Parent, Social Conditions and Applied Parenting, and the Practice of Parenting.

Volume 4, Social Conditions and Applied Parenting, describes socially defined groups of parents and social conditions that promote variation in parenting. The chapters in Part I, on Social and Cultural Conditions of Parenting, start with a relational developmental systems perspective on parenting and move to considerations of ethnic and minority parenting among Latino and Latin Americans, African Americans, Asians and Asian Americans, Indigenous parents, and immigrant parents. The section concludes with considerations of disabilities, employment, and poverty on parenting. Parents are ordinarily the most consistent and caring people in children’s lives. However, parenting does not always go right or well. Information, education, and support programs can remedy potential ills. The chapters in Part II, on Applied Issues in Parenting, begin with how parenting is measured and follow with examinations of maternal deprivation, attachment, and acceptance/rejection in parenting. Serious challenges to parenting—some common, such as stress and depression, and some less common, such as substance abuse, psychopathology, maltreatment, and incarceration—are addressed as are parenting interventions intended to redress these trials.

A landmark book that reveals the way boys think and that shows parents, educators and coaches how to reach out and help boys overcome their most common and difficult challenges -- by the bestselling author who changed our conception of adolescent girls.
 
Do you constantly struggle to pull information from your son, student, or athlete, only to encounter mumbling or evasive assurances such as “It’s nothing” or “I’m good?”  Do you sense that the boy you care about is being bullied, but that he’ll do anything to avoid your “help?”   Have you repeatedly reminded him that schoolwork and chores come before video games only to spy him reaching for the controller as soon as you leave the room? Have you watched with frustration as your boy flounders with girls?
 
Welcome to Boy World. It’s a place where asking for help or showing emotional pain often feels impossible. Where sports and video games can mean everything, but working hard in school frequently earns ridicule from “the guys” even as they ask to copy assignments. Where “masterminds” dominate and friends ruthlessly insult each other but can never object when someone steps over the line. Where hiding problems from adults is the ironclad rule because their involvement only makes situations worse. Boy world is governed by social hierarchies and a powerful set of unwritten rules that have huge implications for your boy’s relationships, his interactions with you, and the man he’ll become. If you want what’s best for him, you need to know what these rules are and how to work with them effectively.
 
What you’ll find in Masterminds and Wingmen is critically important for every parent – or anyone who cares about boys – to know. Collaborating with a large team of middle- and high-school-age editors, Rosalind Wiseman has created an unprecedented guide to the life your boy is actually experiencing – his on-the-ground reality.  Not only does Wiseman challenge you to examine your assumptions, she offers innovative coping strategies aimed at helping your boy develop a positive, authentic, and strong sense of self.
Are you concerned or frustrated with the choices your child makes when it comes to their peer groups, study habits, and use of social media?

Do you feel your child is pushing you away and your connection is weakening?

Are you unsure of the next steps you should take to help your child succeed?

A whole new set of parenting concerns arise during tween and teenhood that can be overwhelming for any parent. The Ultimate Guide to Raising Teens and Tweens offers a step-by-step plan for raising your adolescent through this tumultuous time. Douglas Haddad provides specific, proven tools for you to help your child become a problem solver and grow to be smart, successful, and self-disciplined.

In The Ultimate Guide to Raising Teens and Tweens, you will:
Discover the secrets of effective communication with your childLearn the techniques to stop behavior problems right in their tracks when they happenKnow the strategies to best motivate your child and unlock their potentialFind out how to set appropriate limits and hold your child accountable for their actionsUnderstand today’s “child-limiting challenges” and the solutions for handling them with your child
Every parent wants the best for their child, and these years can be fraught with challenges: bullying, violence, gambling, sex, smoking, alcohol, substance use, eating disorders, depression, suicide, unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity, etc. Making sense of these challenges, this book offers exercises for incorporating the ten child unlimited tools into your parenting style and anecdotes to illustrate strategies and techniques. Supported by current research, the tools found in these pages will serve as a guide for any family with tweens or teens.
Your Child Is Smarter Than You Think! bridges the gap between how children think and learn and how they feel and behave. Dr. Wanda Draper discusses a whole-child approach to articulate the child’s development and its relationship to behavior and learning from infancy through adolescence. Based on thirty years of experience with thousands of children of all ages, and their parents and teachers, she suggests simple yet powerful ways to help children achieve success in school and life. She says, “You can’t send the head to school and leave the body at home—the whole child goes to school, the whole child lives at home, and the whole child participates in the world.”
 
Through a down-to-earth approach, Dr. Draper offers insights about how to tell the difference between natural behavior and a real problem—and what to do about it. She gives a lively explanation of how children think and act in relation to how they feel. Your Child Is Smarter Than You Think! focuses, at each stage and pathway of development, on suggestions for how to successfully:
 
live and work with a smart child help without interfering activate the learning loop communicate to get results 
“Parents and professionals are often confronted by the challenges of children because they are smarter than we think.”
-Dr. Wanda Draper
 
Wanda Draper, PhD, professor emeritus of the College of Medicine, University of Oklahoma, testifies about the relationship between childhood development and adulthood consequences as an expert witness in capital death-penalty trials. She studied at Texas Woman’s University, with additional studies at Harvard University and in Geneva, Switzerland. The author of sixteen books, she has appeared on television, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, and has been quoted in CNN News, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Parent magazine, and Reader’s Digest.
Renowned child psychologist and New York Times bestselling author of Lost at School and The Explosive Child explains how to cultivate a better parent-child relationship while also nurturing empathy, honesty, resilience, and independence.

Parents have an important task: figure out who their child is—his or her skills, preferences, beliefs, values, personality traits, goals, and direction—get comfortable with it, and then help them pursue and live a life according to it. Yet parents also want their kids to be independent, but not if they are going to make bad choices. They want to avoid being too overbearing, but not if an apathetic kid is what they have to show for it. They want to have a good relationship with their kids, but not if that means being a pushover. They don’t want to scream, but they do want to be heard. Good parenting is about striking the balance between a child’s characteristics and a parent’s desire to have influence.

Dr. Ross Greene “makes a powerful case for rethinking typical approaches to parenting and disciplining children” (The Atlantic). Through his well-known model of solving problems collaboratively, parents can forgo timeout and sticker charts; stop badgering, berating, threatening, and punishing; allow their kids to feel heard and validated; and have influence.

From homework to hygiene, curfews, to screen time, Dr. Greene “arms parents with guidelines that are clear, doable, and sure to empower both parents and their children” (Adele Faber, coauthor of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen). Raising Human Beings is “inspirational…a game-changer for parents, teachers, and other caregivers. Its advice is reasonable and empathetic, and readers will feel ready to start creating a better relationship with the children in their lives” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
With the insights she has gleaned from her close and subtle observation of parent-teacher conferences, renowned Harvard University professor Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot has written a wise, useful book about the ways in which parents and teachers can make the most of their essential conversation—the dialogue between the most vital people in a child’s life.

“The essential conversation” is the crucial exchange that occurs between parents and teachers—a dialogue that takes place more than one hundred million times a year across our country and is both mirror of and metaphor for the larger cultural forces that define family-school relationships and shape the development of our children. Participating in this twice-yearly ritual, so friendly and benign in its apparent goals, parents and teachers are often wracked with anxiety. In a meeting marked by decorum and politeness, they frequently exhibit wariness and assume defensive postures. Even though the conversation appears to be focused on the student, adults may find themselves playing out their own childhood histories, insecurities, and fears.

Through vivid portraits and parables, Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot captures the dynamics of this complex, intense relationship from the perspective of both parents and teachers. She also identifies new principles and practices for improving family-school relationships. In a voice that combines the passion of a mother, the skepticism of a social scientist, and the keen understanding of one of our nation’s most admired educators, Lawrence-Lightfoot offers penetrating analysis and an urgent call to arms for all those who want to act in the best interests of their children.

For parents and teachers who seek productive dialogues and collaborative alliances in support of the learning and growth of their children, this book will offer valuable insights, incisive lessons, and deft guidance on how to communicate more effectively. In The Essential Conversation, Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot brings scholarship, warmth, and wisdom to an immensely important cultural subject—the way we raise our children.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A moving memoir about the legendary author’s relationship with her own mother.

Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf Book Club Pick!

The story of Maya Angelou’s extraordinary life has been chronicled in her multiple bestselling autobiographies. But now, at last, the legendary author shares the deepest personal story of her life: her relationship with her mother.

For the first time, Angelou reveals the triumphs and struggles of being the daughter of Vivian Baxter, an indomitable spirit whose petite size belied her larger-than-life presence—a presence absent during much of Angelou’s early life. When her marriage began to crumble, Vivian famously sent three-year-old Maya and her older brother away from their California home to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. The subsequent feelings of abandonment stayed with Angelou for years, but their reunion, a decade later, began a story that has never before been told. In Mom & Me & Mom, Angelou dramatizes her years reconciling with the mother she preferred to simply call “Lady,” revealing the profound moments that shifted the balance of love and respect between them.

Delving into one of her life’s most rich, rewarding, and fraught relationships, Mom & Me & Mom explores the healing and love that evolved between the two women over the course of their lives, the love that fostered Maya Angelou’s rise from immeasurable depths to reach impossible heights.

Praise for Mom & Me & Mom

“Mom & Me & Mom is delivered with Angelou’s trademark good humor and fierce optimism. If any resentments linger between these lines, if lives are partially revealed without all the bitter details exposed, well, that is part of Angelou’s forgiving design. As an account of reconciliation, this little book is just revealing enough, and pretty irresistible.”—The Washington Post

“Moving . . . a remarkable portrait of two courageous souls.”—People

“[The] latest, and most potent, of her serial autobiographies . . . [a] tough-minded, tenderhearted addition to Angelou’s spectacular canon.”—Elle

“Mesmerizing . . . Angelou has a way with words that can still dazzle us, and with her mother as a subject, Angelou has a near-perfect muse and mystery woman.”—Essence
In the twenty-first century, a developmental phase of life is emerging as significant and distinct, capturing our interest, engaging our curiosity, and expanding our understanding of human potential and development. Demographers talk about this new chapter in life as characterized by people—between fifty and seventy-five—who are considered "neither young nor old." In our "third chapters" we are beginning to redefine our views about the casualties and opportunities of aging; we are challenging cultural definitions of strength, maturity, power, and sexiness.

This is a chapter in life when the traditional norms, rules, and rituals of our careers seem less encompassing and restrictive; when many women and men seem to be embracing new challenges and searching for greater meaning in life.

In The Third Chapter, the renowned sociologist Dr. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot offers a strong counterpoint to the murky ambivalence that shrouds our clear view of people in their third chapters. She challenges the still prevailing and anachronistic images of aging by documenting and revealing the ways in which the years between fifty and seventy-five may, in fact, be the most transformative and generative time in our lives, tracing the ways in which wisdom, experience, and new learning inspire individual growth and cultural transformation. The women and men whose voices fill the pages of The Third Chapter tell passionate and poignant stories of risk and vulnerability, failure and resilience, challenge and mastery, experimentation and improvisation, and insight and new learning.

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