by Dr. John Duffy

Viva Editions, $15.95, 252 pages

The best parents are those that let their children be themselves. The Available Parent looks at various styles of parenting, and why they are good or bad. Communication and acting as a mentor, for example, are seen as good things, whereas hovering and lecturing are not. Although brief, it gives a thorough going-over of most parenting styles, with notes on how to make the most effective parent.

The idea of parenting is to raise children that become capable adults, but parents are not fully aware of the responsibility that it entails, or get overwhelmed by the responsibility. This book shows a parent how to tend to the path between the two extremes, where the responsibility of raising a child is understood, but there is plenty of room for error and even having fun with them. A parent needs to be unafraid of making some mistakes, and this book shows what the more common mistakes to avoid are, as well as excellent tips on how to take advantage of what tools you have. Better yet, it approaches the matter in a friendly, helpful manner.  For parents that are worried about the job they are doing, this is an excellent book.

Reviewed by Jamais Jochim