Book Review – How To Really Love Your Child

By Dr. Ross Campbell (originally published in 1960)

Genre: Non fiction, parenting

Woo factor: none if Christianity is your thing

Hippie factor: 8 out of 10 (it may challenge your viewpoint of traditional parenting)

I was first introduced to this book back in my crunchy-earth-mama days. I was at a conference on mothering/parenting topics just prior to launching into teaching parenting. The book was old then; it’s ancient now. But don’t let that discourage you. The ideas and concepts are timeless. The author is one of the somewhat more contemporary “Love Languages” authors and this classic book is a pre-cursor to that classic.

I have listed this book in several of the “books that changed my life” lists that wander through Facebook periodically. The book is Christian based, and the book uses Christian scripture and refences throughout. (For those readers who don’t know, I did earn my MA is a Seminary) I judge these references to be appropriate, not cherry picked, and helpful.

Dr. Campbell makes develops and outlines the difference between a child being loved (most are) to feeling loved (many don’t). This book then goes on to both explain both why many children know intellectually they are loved but don’t feel it, but, more importantly, the author outlines a program on how to help your child feel the love that is present. Page 80 of my old edition states “If you have not made your child feel loved with an abundance of eye contact, physical contact, and focused attention in an appropriate way, please do not read further.”

Dr. Ross makes a compelling case for how a child needs to feel love before discipline should be considered and before discipline is effective. “Discipline in immeasurably easier when the child feels genuinely loved.” (Pg. 80)

I recommend this book to parents of children 0-12 and his “How to Really Love Your Teenager” sequel for High Schoolers. It is an easy read and short. The ideas are presented well and each family can made positive and sustainable changes using the suggestions in this book.

Happy Parenting.

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