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Talk With Your Kids : Conversations About Ethics -- Honesty, Friendship, Sensitivity, Fairness, Dedication, Individuality -- and 103 Other Things That Really Matter
A guide for parents to help their children better understand the world around them by helping them think through the questions they face regarding honesty, friendship, sensitivity, fairness, dedication, individuality and 103 other character-building issues
Many families and almost all schools spend a great deal of time developing children academically, but studies show tht scholastic achievement is not the only key to future success. Developing non-cognitive skills, which children often learn from their parents, is equally relevant.
Talk with Your Kids prompts thoughtful and effective discussion between parents and children by posing 109 open-ended questions. Many of the questions reflect situations immediately relevant to kids, such as cyber-bullying, cheating in school or in sports, accepting differences, illegal music downloads, what defines lying, and making choices about drugs and sex.
Other questions ask kids to consider larger dilemmas, such as medical ethics and medical testing, declaring war, crime and punishment, eating meat, and more. Parker also offers suggestions to parents on how to keep the conversations going and encourage kids to think more deeply about an issue. Throughout the book are questions based on the theories of famous ethicists and philosophers, including John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean Jacques Rousseau.
Best-selling parenting books such as How Children Succeed and Nurtureshock emphasize the importance of strong values in a child. The conversations in Talk with Your Kids help parents achieve this goal.
Parker (author of Doppelganger, a novel), a philosopher, educator, and deputy headmaster of Senior School at Cranbrook School in Australia, believes that while schools focus on academic achievement, not enough emphasis is placed on ethical development. As he asks parents, "Your child may be smart, but is he or she good?" Ethics and values, he asserts, should be discussed regularly. Parker encourages parents to become part of a venerable tradition and take an "Enlightened" approach (as opposed to "Authoritarian" or "Permissive") that encourages discussion. To aid parents and kids (ages 10-15) on this path, Parker presents more than 100 topics-including lying, animal rights, alcohol use, ethical treatment during war, and bullying-to spark debate and independent thinking. He also weaves in the philosophies of some of the world's greatest thinkers, including Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. Readers are encouraged to use the book as they see fit, picking and choosing topics; upsetting topics come with an "M" rating, as in the discussions of torture or killing animals for food. Parents who are struggling with "ethically challenged" offspring or who want to drum up lively ethical discussions will find this to be a creative and useful handbook. More than 100 b&w illus. (Aug.) - Publishers Weekly
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Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
August 27, 2013
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