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For September Literacy Month – books for parents and children

A POINT OF AWARENESS - Preciosa S. Soliven - The Philippine Star

Between the ’20 to the ‘30s, most women just finished high school like my mama Meding and mother-in-law Pelagia Soliven. They continued schooling by reading books and magazines. The two housewives kept up with current and modern issues like college students, seemingly under the coaching of their husbands Atty. Calixto Silverio and Assemblyman-lawyer Benito Soliven. One can say that their major was cooking, housekeeping and child-rearing.

It was the habit of reading which guided mama after the liberation of Manila when there was an epidemic of polio, to have my baby cousin Lito who contracted it, prepared to be operated at the orthopedic hospital when he was in grade school. He underwent two more operations which allowed him to walk with a slight limp in high school. It was also mama’s idea to let the dentist fix braces for my front teeth during the fifties.

Today, UNESCO refers to various ALS (alternative learning system) so adults can continue their education even outside formal classroom. UNESCO has encouraged the “lifelong education program” recommending the appropriate books.

Mothering and fathering

The Father Factor by Henry B. Biller, Ph.D. and Robert J. Trotter. A breakthrough guide for fathers of the nineties, this is a how-to manual focusing on the unique contributions that only a father can make to parenting, taking him off the sidelines of child-rearing and providing him with the practical tools to become the best father he can be, while steering clear of sex role stereotypes.

How to Father by Dr. Fitzhugh Dodson. Like the book mentioned above, this is also an indispensable guide to help every father (married, widowed or divorced) to understand his essential role in his children’s healthy happy development.

Raising the Only Child by Murray Kappelman, M.D. In his intelligent and practical books, Dr. Keppelman saw that the only child does not have to be the self absorbed, over-privileged child of popular myth.

Sisters and Brothers – Resolving your adult sibling relationship by Patti McDermott, MFCC – Without using too many psychological terms and instead narrating many real life anecdotes, therapist Patti McDermott leads you through the nagging issues that plague your relationships with your siblings.

Instant Parent – The delightfully practical, totally honest an absolutely essential guide for new step-parents by Suzy Kalter. Ms. Kalter, in this book, delineates the feelings and foibles of instant parents and grandparents.

Foster Parenting for Young Children – Guidelines from a foster parent by Evelyn H. Felker. This work takes in all aspects of the foster parent’s particular role with young children, through application, daily care, the biological parents, the caseworker and the agency and the foster parent association.

Other titles worth reading on this subject are Step-Parenting – How to live with other people’s children by Brenda Maddox.


1001 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Schoolwork by Lawrence J. Greene. This is an A to Z guide to common problems and their practical solutions. This book will enable you to take positive practical steps, making learning a creative, joyous experience and give your child the essential tools for success in school and in life.

The Homework Solution – Getting kids to do their homework by Linda Agler Sonna, Ph.D. The author presents a homework program that promises to work on some scale for all students – from the most gifted to the most handicapped students, and all those children somewhere in between.

Adolescence and growing up with teenagers

Between Parent and Teenager by Dr. Haim Ginott. In this book, Dr. Ginott focuses on letting go as the key to peaceful and meaningful coexistence between parent and teenager.

Not My Kid – A parent’s guide to kids and drugs by Beth Polson and Miller Newton, Ph.D. from both personal and professional experience, the authors of this book givers parents a better understanding of how easy it is for the best of kids to be lured by the temptations of peer pressure. Offering sound, practical advice for both prevention and cure, they will help you recognize and combat the hidden messages that make kids think drugs are okay, where to get professional help and deal with the pain inflicted on the rest of the family.

Understanding Your Teenager’s Depression – Issues, insights and practical guidance for parents by Kathleen McCoy, Ph.D. The author provides parents with the information and understanding to recognize the frequently obscured symptoms of depression and offers appropriate advice to cope with this critical problem.

Money Doesn’t Grow on Tree – A parents’ guide to raising financially responsible children by Neale S. Godfrey and Carolina Edwards. This unique program is for kids – from those as young as three to those in their teens. 

You may also want to read When Kids are Mad, Not Bad by Henry A Paul, M.D., a guide to recognizing and handling children’s anger.

Children with special needs

Filipino Children Under Stress – Family Dynamics and Therapy by Maria Lourdes Arellano Carandang. A first Filipino child psychologist, this book gives insights into the workings of the Filipino family and its problems – those which are reflected in the child under stress.

Learning  Disabilities – The Developing Child by Jerome Bruner, Michael Cole and Barbara Lloyd. This book will show you how the sciences of cognitive psychology and neuropsychology have illuminated the essential process of reading, writing, spelling, drawing and calculating.

Overachieving Parents, Underachieving Children – Working together to help your child find success by Dorothy A. Bodenburg, MFCC. This book helps you recognize the special dynamics that keep you from getting through to your children. It shows you where the problems originate and how to work with your child to solve them.

Enjoy the September book fair

If you’re looking to building a library of books or a collection of your favorite reads, an annual book fair is held every month of September at the SMX Convention Center. This is the biggest book fair in the Philippines where all publishing houses and bookstores sell a variety of local and international books.

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