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Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children [Paperback]

By Michael Thompson (Author), Catherine O'Neill Grace (Author) & Catherine O'Neill Grace (Joint Author)
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Item Number 158646  
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Item description for Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children by Michael Thompson & Catherine O'Neill Grace...

Details the complex nature of children's friendships by providing thought-provoking discussions and heartwarming stories on the difference between friendship and popularity, how boys and girls deal with intimacy and commitments, and more. Reprint.

Publishers Description
Friends broaden our children's horizons, share their joys and secrets, and accompany them on their journeys into ever wider worlds. But friends can also gossip and betray, tease and exclude. Children can cause untold suffering, not only for their peers but for parents as well. In this wise and insightful book, psychologist Michael Thompson, Ph.D., and children's book author Catherine O'Neill Grace, illuminate the crucial and often hidden role that friendship plays in the lives of children from birth through adolescence.
Drawing on fascinating new research as well as their own extensive experience in schools, Thompson and Grace demonstrate that children's friendships begin early-in infancy-and run exceptionally deep in intensity and loyalty. As children grow, their friendships become more complex and layered but also more emotionally fraught, marked by both extraordinary intimacy and bewildering cruelty. As parents, we watch, and often live through vicariously, the tumult that our children experience as they encounter the "cool" crowd, shifting alliances, bullies, and disloyal best friends.
"Best Friends, Worst Enemies" brings to life the drama of childhood relationships, guiding parents to a deeper understanding of the motives and meanings of social behavior. Here you will find penetrating discussions of the difference between friendship and popularity, how boys and girls deal in unique ways with intimacy and commitment, whether all kids need a best friend, why cliques form and what you can do about them.
Filled with anecdotes that ring amazingly true to life, "Best Friends, Worst Enemies" probes the magic and the heartbreak that all children experience with their friends. Parents, teachers, counselors-indeed anyone who cares about children-will find this an eye-opening and wonderfully affirming book.

"From the Hardcover edition."

Citations And Professional Reviews
Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children by Michael Thompson & Catherine O'Neill Grace has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Christian Home & School - 01/01/2003 page 22

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Ballantine Books
Pages   299
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 30, 2002
Publisher   Ballantine Books
ISBN  034544289X  
ISBN13  9780345442895  

Availability  45 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 25, 2016 09:52.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
Orders shipping to an address other than a confirmed Credit Card / Paypal Billing address may incur and additional processing delay.

More About Michael Thompson & Catherine O'Neill Grace

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Michael Thompson, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, lecturer, consultant and former seventh grade teacher. He conducts workshops on the development of boys and social cruelty in childhood for both public and private schools across the United States. He is the author of "Speaking of Boys" and coauthor, with Dan Kindlon, Ph.D., of "The" "New York Times" bestseller "Raising" "Cain." The father of a daughter and a son, he and his wife observe children s friendships from their home in Arlington, Massachusetts.
Catherine O Neill Grace, a writer and editor, is a former elementary, middle, and high school teacher, and was the editor of "Independent School" magazine. She wrote a column for young readers about health and psychology in "The Washington Post" for fifteen years, and is the author of numerous nonfiction books for children. She and her husband, a headmaster, live on the campus of a boarding school near Boston.

"From the Hardcover edition.""

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > Child Psychology > Development
2Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > General
3Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Parenting > Babies & Toddlers > Child Development
4Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Parenting > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children?

Worst Enemies/ Best Friends Beacon Street Girls  Sep 15, 2004
Hi,My name is Taylor. I read Beacon Street Girls. It was a really great book. You never knew what to expect next. It was so interesting I could hardly put it down. It is a good book for any age girl. I felt like I was one of the Beacon Street Girls. I could see myself there. It is a perfect book for every girl. It has all the personalities of every girl, so anyone can relate to it. The book kept me guessing throughout the entire story. Even when I put it down I kept wondering what was going to happen next. I would highly recommend this book to any girl of any age. I know you will enjoy this and be glad you read it. I hope you will be as excited as I to read the next book and tell your friends.
Not as interesting as I'd hoped  Sep 17, 2002
I guess I was expecting something more in-depth and less instructional. I am sure this is a fine book for a parent who isn't clued into how some kids are popular and some kids have no friends at all, but I was looking for a more psychological perspective.

I did find the short sections about infants and toddlers very interesting. I think there should have been less emphasis on popularity and what it means to children. The section about people acting a certain way because of a group mentality rather than personal morals captured my attention.

This book is important.  May 3, 2002
Alice Miller (author of The Drama of the Gifted Child and Breaking Down the Walls of Silence) has long emphasized that if we are serious about solving society's problems, we must focus on how we treat children --- as individual families and as a cultural. This book is an excellent contribution toward that end.

From thought-provoking observations to practical suggestions about solutions, Best Friends, Worst Enemies is an effective education about social problems that begin in childhood, but do not end in childhood. One point the authors make that interests me greatly is that when one child is being bullied by others, the majority of children witnessing the abuse will either do nothing to intervene or they will join in with the bullying. If you think that is not a reflection of the society in which we live, think again.

As a psychotherapist and author (Embracing Fear, HarperSanFrancisco) who emphasizes personal responsibility and facing fears head on, I hope that more than just parents and educators will read this book. I think there is something here for us all to think about --- no, to do something about.

Children's social lives  Mar 13, 2002
Outatanding book! It has valuable information for adults concerning what our kids social lives are like and how to help them when there is a problem. Children can be so cruel. The book sheds light on a world we as adults don't really understand. This book is well written and easy to read. I highly recommend it!
For parents with a desire to learn more about the psychological development of their child and the profound impact of peer pressure, this book contains some valuable information. The book deals with various aspects of development such as rejection, neglect and acceptance. The book helps the reader to understand how those elements can have a psychological influence on the child and their social interaction with others.

An extremely important section of the book deals with the school system itself and how changes need to be made to better adapt the learning environment to a childs emotional needs if the child is to development in a positive and socially acceptable manner. The book has been well researched and would be of particular interest not only to parents, but anyone invovled with the care and education of children.


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