Dr. Spock: Parents as Companions

Parenting advice from one of America's favorite experts.

Dr. Benjamin Spock has been giving parents advice about raising their children for decades. In this excerpt from his landmark work, Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, he shares one of the 19 points he believes are most important for parents to keep in mind about their role in their child's life.

    Parents as companions

    Children need friendly, accepting parents. Boys and girls need chances to be around their parents, to be enjoyed by them, and to do things with them. Unfortunately, working parents are apt to come home wanting most of all to relax after a long day. If they understand how valuable their friendliness is, they will feel more like making a reasonable effort to at least greet the children, answer questions, and show an interest in anything they want to share. I say reasonable because I don't think the conscientious father or mother should force himself or herself beyond his or her endurance. Better to chat for 15 minutes enjoyably and then say, "Now I'm going to read my paper," than to spend an hour grumpily playing.

    Excerpted with permission from Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, Revised Seventh Edition, Pocket Books, 1998.

    Copyright 1945, 1946, © 1957, 1968, 1976, 1985, 1992 by Benjamin Spock, MD. Copyright renewed © 1973, 1974, 1985, 1996 by Benjamin Spock, MD. Revised and updated material copyright © by The Benjamin Spock Trust

    The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.