How to be a Good Parent
Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
The mere provision of the vegetable is not sufficient; it must be actually eaten.
If there is room enough for somersaults, the child can be satisfied.
These are just a few of the words of wisdom on offer in How to be a Good Parent, the latest in a series of delightful advice books from the Bodleian Library that also includes How to be a Good Husband and How to be a Good Wife. As developmental psychology began to show promise, beleaguered parents were drawn to the nascent discipline with the sorts of questions that will be familiar to any parent: How does one tell a toddler “no” without triggering a tantrum? Are there circumstances in which it’s acceptable to extract good behavior with bribery?
How to be a Good Parent brings together bits from the best of advice books of the 1920s and ’30s, taking readers through all the challenges involved in raising a child. Among the topics discussed are good—and bad—behavior, how to dress one’s dear son or darling daughter, mealtime, and the dreaded morning and bedtime routines. A section on taking medicine offers sage advice: “Gargling is a useful accomplishment” (while perhaps not appropriate for the dinner table). In a section on playtime, parents tasked with planning their child’s birthday will warmly welcome the book’s advice to “let the children give their own parties!”
By turns humorously old-fashioned and timeless, How to be a Good Parent is a charmingly illustrated guide to what any parent can tell you is the world's most difficult job.
2. Good—And Bad—Behaviour
3. Speaking and Listening
4. Meals and Mealtimes
5. Manners and Courtesy
6. Cleanliness, Health and Sleep
7. Dress and Deportment
8. Palytime and Storytelling
9. Children’s Party—Giving
10. Preparing Them for a Life of Their Own