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Humanism for Parents: 11/30/09

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Humanism for Parents by Sean Curley begins with the premise that parenting is hard and even more so for parents who chose not to teach religion to their children. This 87 page primer strives to bridge the gap for struggling parents.

The book begins with a definition and overview of humanism (reason, logic and scientific method instead of religious dogma) and goes on to cover: a non religious basis for morality, tenets of good parenting, spirituality, mitigating religious conflict, humanism for kids and teens and contemporary issues

For a book that begins with "parenting is hard" and then promises to show how to make the process easier, I expected the "good parenting" section to be longer than six pages. In those six pages there's a anecdote from the author about his depression era father and how his version of good parenting involved providing money for the family and not beating the kids. Ultimately Curley renders down the "hard" aspects of parenting to two rules: teach children how the world works and set limits. So there you go; I guess all the other parenting books are now obsolete!

For a book about humanism, I think there's way too much time spent on spirituality and religion. Twenty-three pages out of 87 are devoted to rites and rituals but not in any organized or well documented fashion. This section seems to assume that humanists / atheists are completely lacking in any understanding on religious practices since they don't practice them at home. I have a better and more thorough source of information on comparative religion by way of the internet and my local libraries

So while there's probably a need for parenting books that embrace humanism or at least aren't steeped in religion, I think Humanism for Parents falls short. The book's heart is in the right place but it doesn't hit the mark

I received the book for review and have since released it through BookCrossing.

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Monday, November, 30, 2009 at 08:27:59


Hey you read it. Since I focus on nonfiction on my blog I rarely find other bloggers who have read what I have. Thanks for linking to me, I returned the link on my review.

The book was a good idea but I think it could have been executed better.

Comment #2: Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 17:32:02


I agree with you. It's a good idea but a sloppy execution. Thanks for the link back on your review.

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