Read The Mother Dance: How Children Change Your Life by Harriet Lerner Free Online
Book Title: The Mother Dance: How Children Change Your Life|
Date of issue: April 7th 1999
ISBN 13: 9780060930257
The author of the book: Harriet Lerner
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.73 MB
Edition: William Morrow Paperbacks
Read full description of the books The Mother Dance: How Children Change Your Life:It’s difficult to tell what sort of book Dr. Lerner really set out to write. A book about how having and raising children affects women emotionally and psychologically? A book of random, select parenting advice? A book of counseling case studies tangentially related to parenting? A feminist polemic? The title would have the reader believe Dr. Lerner had definitely settled on the first topic, but it seems to me that equal time is given to all of these topics, and the book therefore lacks focus.
On the first subject, Dr. Lerner offers a number of insights and says many things to which I can relate, especially with regard to the subject of mom-guilt. However, she also seems to have an ideological vision that prevents her from considering that some women do not derive their sense of selfhood primarily from their careers or that some couples may have a better relationship if they undertake traditional division of labor roles.
As a book of parenting advice, it is, as I said, random and select, offering tidbits of guidance here and there with an entire chapter on getting your children to eat well and talking to them about sex. Let’s ignore for a moment the question of whether one should take parenting advice from a psychiatrist who makes her husband take a separate plane any time they fly in the event that it should crash (and then justifies her idiosyncrasy by writing, “Sometimes we mothers need to honor our worries even when we can’t justify them.”). Is her advice good? I don’t know. I guess I’d have to try it. And most of it I’m not going to try. Especially not the part where I buy my children massive amounts of any kind of food they like, leave it in the pantry, and let them decide how much and what to eat. Yes, maybe they would tire of fruit snacks after three days of gorging themselves on half their body weight of those jellied confections, but I find it easier just to say, “No, you may not have more than one package a day.” But then I’m controlling that way. So much better to end their fixation by making it constantly available in large quantities. (She says it ended her sons fixation with sweets. I’m sure it did. How can you be fixated on something that is available in abundance and never forbidden in any quantity? But I’m curious to know—did he actually eat MORE healthy foods and FEWER unhealthy foods after the experiment? That she never says.)
The case studies are sometimes interesting, sometimes not. And the polemic? It’s mild, as far as polemics go. I can get behind some of it, and I shake my head at other parts of it. Dr. Lerner is one of those feminists who assumes she speaks for all women and that those women who do not share her concerns are in denial.
I give the book a generous three stars for the insights I did receive and because, if nothing else, I found it interesting to read.
Read information about the authorHarriet Lerner was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the second of two daughters. Her parents, Archie and Rose Goldhor, were both children of Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. They were high school graduates who wanted their daughters to "be someone" at a time when women were only supposed to "find someone."
"Achievement was next to Godliness for my sister, Susan, and me." Harriet notes. "My father would talk about ‘My daughters the doctors’ while we were still in our strollers."
Growing up, Harriet and Susan spent weekends at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Public Library and the Brooklyn Museum. "These places were free and just a subway token away."
Lerner's mother had an unwavering belief in her daughters and strong principles about how to raise children. In Harriet's words:
"Even during the hardest economic times my mother, Rose, made sure that Susan and I had four things that she believed were essential to our later success:
1. Good shoes (I don't mean stylish)
2. A firm, quality mattress
3. A top pediatrician (none other than Doctor Benjamin Spock);
4. A therapist
Unlike other parents of the day who considered therapy to be a last resort of the mentally ill, my mother thought it was a learning experience. She put me in therapy before I was three, after obtaining a health insurance policy that provided weekly therapy sessions for one dollar. I later joked that my mother would send me to a therapist if I came home from school with anything less than a B plus. I was exaggerating, but only a little bit. "
Her mother's belief in therapy undoubtedly contributed to Lerner's career choice. She decided to become a clinical psychologist before finishing kindergarten - a decision she never veered from.
EDUCATION AND CAREER
Lerner attended local public schools in Brooklyn including Midwood High School. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she majored in psychology and Indian studies. She spent her junior year studying and doing research in Delhi, India. Lerner received an M.A. in educational psychology from Teachers' College of Columbia University and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the City University of New York. It was there that she met and later married Steve Lerner, also a clinical psychologist.
Harriet and Steve did a pre-doctoral internship at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco and moved to Topeka, Kansas in 1972 for a two-year postdoctoral training program at the Menninger Foundation, where they subsequently joined the staff.
"We always planned to move back to Berkeley or New York,” says Lerner. “But two years in Topeka turned into two decades - and then some.” She now identifies herself as a Kansan and claims to have overcome her coastal arrogance. She has grown to love the simple life (meaning she has never had to learn to parallel park) and the big open skies. After Menninger closed shop in Topeka and moved to Houston, Lerner and her husband moved to Lawrence, Kansas where they currently have a private practice. They have two sons, Matt and Ben.
Lerner is best known for her scholarly work on the psychology of women and family relationships, and for her many best-selling books. Feminism and family systems theory continue to inform her writing. She has dedicated her writing life to translating complex theory into accessible and useful prose, and has become one of our nation's most trusted and respected relationship experts.
Lerner's books have been published in more than thirty-five foreign editions. Her latest book (January 2012) is Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up.
HONORS AND AWARDS (PARTIAL LISTING)
New York Distinguished Honor, National Anger Management Association
Kansas Distinguished Award for Literature
William Allen White Award for Excellence in Literary and Journalistic Achievement
"Woman of Distinction," Girl Scouts of America Award
"Woman of Word
Add a comment to The Mother Dance: How Children Change Your Life
Read EBOOK The Mother Dance: How Children Change Your Life by Harriet Lerner Online free