It Takes a Child to Raise a Parent: Stories of Evolving Child and Parent Development (Paperback)

It Takes a Child to Raise a Parent: Stories of Evolving Child and Parent Development By Janis Clark Johnston Cover Image

It Takes a Child to Raise a Parent: Stories of Evolving Child and Parent Development (Paperback)


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While advice abounds from a variety of sources before parents embark on their parenting journeys, the only parent preparation we actually receive comes from our family and peer stories. Yet most adults do not realize that in day-to-day challenges of guiding our children, something interesting happens. As we steer our children through life, we reopen our own childhood roads. Just when our child most needs us, we become needy ourselves: as adults and parents, we find that we have unresolved raising issues, basic needs that were not met in our childhoods. Our needs and memories echo and influence many of the parenting decisions we make, even though we're unaware of those influences at times.

Fortunately, children help parents reach their needs as much as their parents help them fulfill their own. Our child ends up guiding us, by connecting us to some earlier time in our life when we encountered distress. We dredge up a lesson, and we adapt by adhering to or changing the story that we tell ourselves about who we are. We re-negotiate the five basic needs that surface from our childhood memories as our youngsters pass through each of the developmental phases. The self-aware parent focuses on creative problem solving by focusing on one interaction at a time.

It Takes a Child to Raise a Parent offers an exploration of how our own childhood memories and needs influence and shape our parenting decisions in our adult lives. Offering tips, stories from a variety of families, and step by step exercises, Janis Johnston helps parents better understand and grasp the tools necessary to face parenting challenges head on, and to explore new ways of understanding ourselves, our children, and our family interactions. Expectant parents and current parents interested in understanding their own personality development as well as the many moods of childhood and their own children, will find clear guidelines for understanding their roles in their children's lives as well as concrete suggestions for how to navigate the choppy waters of raising children.
Janis Clark Johnston, EdD, has worked as a school psychologist in public schools, a supervising psychologist at a mental health center, an employee assistance therapist, and a private practice family psychologist. She received the 2011 Founder's Award in appreciation for her dedication to the mission of Parenthesis Family Center, Oak Park, IL. Sarah's Inn, a domestic violence shelter and education center in Oak Park, IL, honored Johnston in 2002 with a Community Spirit Award for her support of teen dating violence prevention/intervention programming for local high school students. Johnston has published journal articles in a variety of journals and co-authored two book chapters. Currently, Johnston is a family psychology consultant in Oak Park, Illinois. The author's website is
Product Details ISBN: 9781538126042
ISBN-10: 1538126044
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publication Date: January 23rd, 2019
Pages: 348
Language: English