Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times” as Want to Read:
Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  247 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
"Above All, Be Kind" teaches parents how to raise their children to be humane in the broadest sense to become not only more compassionate in their interactions with family and friends, but to grow up to make life choices that demonstrate respect for the environment, other species, and all people. The book includes chapters for early, middle, teenage, and young adult years, ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by New Society Publishers (first published October 1st 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Above All, Be Kind, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Above All, Be Kind

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
One of the better parenting books I've read by a socially progressive, vegetarian author. Contains no homophobia, overt Christian messages, or anti-pornography or anti-sex rants (though she does advocate treating sexuality with seriousness and respect). Her argument that children need to learn to live their lives with greater intentionality and according to a moral compass is based more in a principle of consideration for others and oneself rather than in negative proscriptions. Encourages teach ...more
Marc Lucke
Mar 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
After delaying for close to two years, I finally pulled this book off my shelf and read it last month. I stalled so long because of two fears: first, that the book would be another mindless collection of empty platitudes (like so many other parenting books before it) or, conversely, that it would fully live up to its promise and make me feel like an utter failure as a parent. In a sense, the book's mediocrity came as a relief.

The book's middling success isn't really its fault: it just so happens
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents
This is a wonderful book for parents that really emphasizes teaching children to be humane. The book is filled with anecdotes, advice and tips for practical application of the concepts.

At the end of the book, Zoe Weil offers a comprehensive questionnaire that will guide a parent to take steps to act more humanely and to live the concept of, "My life is my message.". She also offers different references, lists, facts and resources that show the damaging impacts of typical American consumerism. F
Dec 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-gifts
You may wonder why I am reading a parenting book. After all, my three feline “children” will never learn to be kind, neither to each other nor to the small animals and bugs they find, so that’s a lost cause. However, I purchased this book for my library, so I felt obligated to read it, and I am also a great fan of Ms. Weil’s, having attended a wonderful participatory lecture she hosted. This is an informational and fun book, a sort of Most Good, Least Harm for parents and those who work with chi ...more
Shira and Ari Evergreen
Jan 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents, educators, environmentalists, vegans
I really liked this book and recommend it to all parents and folks who care for children! Weil has carefully crafted a humane education curriculum to help kids learn how to make compassionate choices, and this book shares the best of what she's learned from her experiences. It's packed with complex examples of challenges that parents run into with kids of different ages, showing very clearly how parents can help their children learn to make decisions for themselves with great kindness and wisdom ...more
This is a tough book for me to rate, because I like the premise and ideas, but there were things that just didn't work for me.

Some of the scenarios were so overdone it seemed like I was watching one of those after-school specials that have the big moral lesson at the end. I think the author could have gotten her point across just as well (or perhaps better) if she hadn't been so heavy-handed at points.

My favorite thing about the book was her theme throughout of, "My life is my message," (a quot
Definitely an interesting read and a worthwhile read. She gives lots of scenarios and how parents dealt with them - she even includes a few brief interview with kids who are humane and what their parents did to get them there.

I'm glad I read it. I wrote down a few other books to read from her recommended reading section. Also has a few facts on sweatshop labor, child labor, etc, etc to get you thinking about how what you are doing every day impacts the great world outside your door and on the ot
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
Although this book has been previously reviewed as a "parenting book," I have looked at this book as a concerned citizen and educator who believes it takes a "village to raise a child." One need not be a parent to pick up this book to reap benefits.

If you look at any point in history, people may have described their lives as "challenging" and difficult. Times of challenge can be reflective of times of change in the world. In today's world, for example, there are so many developments and changes
Oct 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was different than what I was expecting.

The author believes there are 4 elements to raising a humane child:

*Providing information
*Teaching critical thinking
*Instilling reverence, respect and responsibility
*Offering positive choices

Basically the parent should model good behavior/their message and promote critical thinking positive choices. Involve yourself and your children in things in your community that promote values and community (volunteer with nonprofits, join a food coop, etc.)
Aug 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
This book gave me so much more then I expected. Living humanely means to encompass all the best qualities of being human: kindness, compassion, honesty, willingness to change, generosity, courage, self discipline, humor, wisdom and integrity ... of course being all of that all the time is not realistic but, learning to have most qualities most of the time can be. It's the kind of book I'll want to read again to remind myself and reinforce the messages.

This book teaches the four elements of human
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Calm and Compassionate Children: A Handbook
  • Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids: 7 Keys to Turn Family Conflict into Cooperation
  • Connection Parenting: Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear
  • The Natural Child: Parenting from the Heart
  • Raising Children Compassionately: Parenting the Nonviolent Communication Way
  • Sharing Nature with Children: The Classic Parents' & Teachers' Nature Awareness Guidebook
  • Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children
  • Living Simply with Children: A Voluntary Simplicity Guide for Moms, Dads, and Kids Who Want to Reclaim the Bliss of Childhood and the Joy of Parenting
  • Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting
  • Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves
  • And the Skylark Sings with Me
  • Becoming the Parent You Want To Be
  • Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief
  • Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children
  • I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature
  • The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Every Day
  • Kids Are Worth It!: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline
  • The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections
Zoe Weil is the co-founder and present of the Institute for Humane Education(IHE). In addition to creating the M.Ed. and certificate programs for IHE and leading IHE’s Sowing Seeds and MOGO (Most Good) workshops, Zoe Weil is the author of The Power and Promise of Humane Education (2004) for educators, Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times (2003) for parents, and Most Good ...more
More about Zoe Weil...
“Reverence is an emotion that we can nurture in our very young children, respect is an attitude that we instill in our children as they become school-agers, and responsibility is an act that we inspire in our children as they grow through the middle years and become adolescents.” 26 likes
“If the traditional Rs (reading, writing, and arithmetic) are the basics that we want our children to master academically, then reverence, respect, and responsibility are the three Rs that our children need to master for the sake of their souls and the health of the world.” 21 likes
More quotes…