Saturday, March 31, 2007

Parenting Someone Else's Child: The Foster Parents' How To Manual by Ann Stressman

This book was OK. I always like reading about other people's experiences, I think because I am naturally nosy. Probably also why I like really crappy reality TV, too.

I probably would have got more out of this book if I hadn't already ready Ruby Payne's "A Framework for Understanding Poverty". That book, which I read for a work related projected had a pretty interesting central thesis about how kids in poverty grow up with vastly different value systems and that some behaviors we consider abnormal really only present adaptive behaviors that are often linked to survivial skills. Case in point: an enormous percentage of kids in foster care are medicated for ADHD. However, the author contends that the kids aren't distracted and inattentive - they are vigilant and watching their environment because they can't take for granted that their home is safe in the same way that middle class kids and children from stable homes do.

However, in both books I found myself reacting to the semantics. Seems like we're painting social classes with a pretty broad brush, without a lot of "objective evidence". Not to discount their expertise, I just didn't like how it was presented as a verifiable truth.

I also really hated the 11 point Comic Sans font. Not a good choice for books.

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