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Free Essay Sample: “Between Parent and Child” by Haim Ginott

The relations between parents and children usually are very difficult and important issue for almost all the families, regardless of social background, nationality, religious beliefs, and age of the parents and their children, etc. In general, the problems appear due to the common issue of the generation gap, opposite views on the same actions and tasks, and the status of parents in the family. The book Between Parent and Child written by famous American psychologist and psychotherapist Dr. Haim Ginott, helps the parents to build a strong bridge in relations with the child and find the ways to avoid the possible conflicts.

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In the book Between Parent and Child, Haim Ginott explained and provided numerous real-life examples that effectively assist parents to understand better the behavior of their children from the psychological point of view. Despite the fact that originally the book was written more than 50 years ago, it stays relevant and important even today. This psychological writing is a significant source for parenting education, and serves as a guidance in comprehending the effective methods to take care of their child and increase awareness in own feelings and knowledge. The author analyzed in details the psychological side of the relations in the family and mentioned a number of issues that can be easily improved. Throughout the book Ginott explained the fundamental principles of respectful communication importance inside the family, methods that help to minimize child’s anxiety , alternative ways to improve child’s discipline , and many other useful techniques and methods that improve the relations and make them more open and friendly (Ginott, 2013). Moreover, the author tried to assist parents in managing such difficult situations as the explanation of death of the loved one, feeling of jealousy, as the child does not want to share his/her feelings with anyone else, the education of responsibility (it is also necessary to draw the line between the right of choice (the issues that the child must decide for him/herself) and the right to vote (the child’s welfare issues, where the parents should decide for their child), and education of sincerity and honesty. Furthermore, he stressed that in human relations honesty and trust are fundamental concepts for building the positive communication and understanding from the both sides: the parent and the child. Moreover, Ginott emphasized the importance of respect and compassion for the child from the parents’ side. He admitted that there are a number of methods to discipline the child in more respectful ways than simply to put him/her into the corner or not to give the pocket money. However, the author remarked that child would lie more and more to avoid the punishment or negative attitude from his/her parents. Thus, it is crucially important to minimize the possible actions that stimulate the child to lie, and vice versa, one should motivate children to be honest not only with the parents, but with the friends, teachers, and others. Basically, parents should be ready and prepared for any kind of the child’s behavior or action and to take correct decision to deal with possible challenge. Thus, through the book, the author provided a number of useful recommendations that would help to change the parents’ behavior approaches and help to manage child’s emotions in the most appropriate way.

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Generally, I consider the book to be a very thought-provoking and useful source to understand better children’s emotions and psychological behavior. Dr. Ginnot helped to feel children’s emotions and to see possible conflict situations from the inside. The role-play dialogues created the atmosphere of presence, as they covered the most popular conflict or unclear situations that can lead to misunderstandings and occurrence of negative emotions. As well, I shared the author’s view that “children experience frustration and resentment when parents seem uninterested in how they feel and in their point of view” (Ginott, 2013, p.83). I am convinced that it is necessary to respect the child and listen to his/her proposals or arguments with sensitivity. Furthermore, I strongly agree with the Dr.Ginnot’s statement that “warning serves as a challenge to the child’s autonomy” (Ginott, 2013, p.59). Often, any kind of prohibition serves as a new motivation to do the unacceptable actions again. Thus, it is significant to find the right words that will help to ensure the child does not repeat the forbidden action again. Moreover, I found the statement that “empathy, a parent’s ability to understand what a child is feeling, is an important and valuable ingredient of child rearing” to be very useful and helpful (Ginott, 2013, p.114). Children need the person who will be able to understand them and have enough knowledge and experience to provide necessary help or advice. However, children will share own real emotions and feelings only to that person who they are not afraid of. Thus, parents should become real friends for their child.

To conclude, the book Between Parent and Child is a valuable guide that can be applied not only in academic theory, but also in real life practice. Hence, parents, using the methods specified in this book, will help to raise the self-esteem of their child and significantly improve the relationship with their loved ones. Moreover, this source will help to understand main approaches and behavior factors that essentially influence the relations between parents and children, helping to avoid the possible misunderstandings and conflicts.


Ginott, H. G. (2003). Between parent and child. New York: Three Rivers Press.

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