Katherine Reynolds Lewis has been a friend and writing colleague for years. But we’ve never met in person. How weird is that? Bizarre a generation ago but totally normal for writers these days, now that our water cooler has become Facebook and LinkedIn.
We’ve been talking (well, mostly emailing) a lot lately. For one good reason: Katherine Reynolds Lewis has a fascinating new book coming out next week (for advice to authors who want to write books, click here and here; for authors launching books, here and here). For one not-so-good reason: Her husband is a cardiologist who specializes in electrophysiology and my husband has been having some heart challenges.
In any case … drumroll… On April 17, PublicAffairs will publish The Good News About Bad Behavior: Why Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever — And What to Do About It.
The book argues that today’s kids are having a harder time than ever maintaining self-control, with rising rates of anxiety, ADHD, depression, self-harm, and suicide.
And so true.
There were six teen suicides in six months in one Ohio school district.
As a journalist, parent educator, and mom of three, Kakki knows a lot about kids. She became a full-time freelance writer in 2009 and has been determined to write a book ever since. Year after year went by without her doing it. Finally, with the help of an accountability partner, she wrote the pitch for the article, “What If Everything You Knew About Disciplining Kids Was Wrong,” that was published in Mother Jones that went crazy viral and led to a book contract. Kakki tells me she spent five years in total working on this book. She interviewed and shadowed parents, educators, psychologists, and research scientists, in order to present a comprehensive portrait of the modern state of bad behavior. All good. But more importantly, the book highlights game-changing strategies to help parents navigate tricky behavior and work with our children toward better solutions.
We need less anxiety, self-harm, and suicide; and more solutions.
So what’s the good news about bad behavior?
That we don’t have to punish kids or set up elaborate reward systems.
Instead, we can win them over with positive and encouraging strategies.
There is so much good, applicable, practical parenting advice in this book, which is written more like a novel than a ponderous book of non-fiction (though, full disclosure, I like those too.)
Like Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman’s NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, The Good News About Bad Behavior is a book you can’t put down and one that you’ll want to read over and over again.
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