Talk With Your Kids

Conversations About Ethics, Honesty, Friendship, Sensitivity, Fairness, Dedication, Individuality and 103 Things that Really Matter

Michael Parker, M. Ed.,
Deputy Headmaster of Cranbrook School

A Featured Selection of the September 2013 Indie Next List
– “Great Reads from Booksellers You Trust

A guide for parents who want to help their children mature and better understand the world around them by helping them think through the questions they face regarding friendship, fairness, privileges, honesty, and 97 other character-building issues

Would you rather your child be smart or good? Many families and almost all schools spend the majority of time developing their children academically. While useful, academic achievement is not the only important aspect of raising a child. Philosopher and educator Michael Parker maintains that noncognitive skills are just as important to a child’s success, and that the main way children learn these skills is from their parents.

Talk to Your Kids prompts thoughtful and effective discussion between parents and children by posing 101 open-ended questions. Many of the questions reflect situations immediately relevant to kids, such as cyber-bullying, cheating in school or in sports, accepting difference, illegal music downloads, what defines lying, and making choices about drugs and sex. Other questions ask kids to consider larger dilemmas, such as medical ethics and medical testing, declaring war, crime and punishment, eating meat, and more. Parker also offers suggestions to parents on how to keep the conversations going and how to encourage kids to think even more deeply about an issue. Throughout the book are profiles of famous ethicists and philosophers, including John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean Jacques Rousseau.

Best-selling parenting books such as How Children Succeed and Nurtureshock emphasize the importance of strong values in a child. The conversations in Talk With Your Kids help parents achieve this goal.

Michael Parker has a master’s degree in philosophy and is deputy headmaster/head of Senior School at Cranbrook School in Sydney, Australia. He graduated in law from Sydney University then retrained in education. Parker has produced a documentary, Inspiring Teachers, and his novel Doppelganger was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Awards in 2007. He has also published a well-reviewed children’s book, You Are a Star.

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