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August 21, 1948

The Challenge of Parenthood

JAMA. 1948;137(17):1563. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890510063026

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This book by a well known psychiatrist of the Adler school should be read by parents and by pediatricians as well. The book is one of the most sensible and practical of the numerous publications in this field. It is not so much a cold scientific analysis of the various abnormalities of behavior as an expression of warm understanding of the problems of childhood.

The book is divided into three sections. The first is a discussion of the psychologic background, describing the difficulties of the parents, their love, anxiety and often sense of inferiority, while the child struggles for superiority in the face of hardships of environment, and often neglect. In the second section the writer discusses the methods of maintaining the mental health of the child, such as keeping an orderly household, avoiding conflict and offering encouragement. He warns against the various mistakes, of which there are many: "spoiling,"