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Aldo Naouri

Educating Children: Present Imperatives

Academic failure, instability, violence, juvenile delinquency: when our children go astray the real issues must finally be faced. But, argues the author, social factors do not explain everything, nor can parental love suffice to overcome all the problems. At the same time, the entire apparatus of advice and assistance offered by a variety of experts often seems to be of very little use. So what are the issues? Could it be that adults have failed to think intelligently about what children's education should be all about?

Living in society means that each individual must follow and internalise a certain number of rules. This is the underlying principle of all education. But first we must ask: What is a child? What does he or she need to become an accomplished adult? And what is an accomplished parent? What is the best way of fulfilling the difficult task of parenting?

Aldo Naouri views with lucidity what is lacking in the way children are raised today.What to do so that an over-indulged child does not turn into a problem teenager? The author offers a useful reminder of the goals of education and of the principles that make parenting meaningful.

Instead of telling parents what to do, Naouri helps them re-examine their own role and what they should teach their children.

The author argues that bringing up children does not simply consist in seeing to their needs and desires or showering them with love. But does this mean a return to rules, authority and discipline?

Since the publication of Les Filles et leurs mères (1998), paediatrician Aldo Naouri's books have been unfailing successes, most notably Les Pères et les Mères (2004) and, more recently, Adultères (2006). In addition, he is the author of Réponses de pédiatre (2000) and the co-author (with Sylvie Angel and Philippe Gutton) of Les Mères juives n'existent pas (2005).