In this important book, Jesper Juul argues that today’s families are at an exciting crossroads. The destructive values — obedience, physical and emotional violence, and conformity — that governed traditional hierarchical families are being transformed.
Instead we can choose to embrace a new set of values based on the assumption that families must be built not on authoritarian force or democratic tyranny but on dignity and reciprocity between parent and child. Children are competent to express their feelings from birth, and they are eager to cooperate. It is parents who must work to listen to and learn from their children. When our children’s behavior makes us feel less than valuable, then it is almost always because we are. That is, prior to a conflict, we were unable to convert our loving feelings into loving behavior, our good intentions into fruitful interaction.
Juul is a renowned international authority on the family. Using examples from families in many different countries, he has written a book that challenges parents to see their years with their children as an exciting time of growth and development for the whole family.