Muse Here's Reviews > The Pain and the Great One

The Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume
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's review
Mar 19, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: kids

I like that this book had perspective from both point of views. I did not, however like the parenting mentioned throughout the book. Clearly the parents have NOT read "Siblings Without Rivalry" by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish. Anyone who has more than one child, should definitely read this book. The parents mentioned in this book, I think are fairly typical. They are (unbeknownst to them) pitting their children against each other. The parents DO show favoritism, to each of the kids in the book. This is why they each resent each other so much. The parents solution to the problem is to simply state "remember that tomorrow" whenever one kid is without the other kid. The real problem is that the two kids have not been taught how to play together, how to be a team or even how to consider the other person's perspective. I get that this book was probably written to help children in such a situation relate to their other siblings, but the fault is not with the kids. It's with the parents. Instead of looking at the brother's artwork when they get home from school and making the daughter feel like an intrusion and totally left out, the mom should have said "hey, come look what your brother did at school, do you remember when you made a similar project in this grade?" And then, she should have reversed it and told the son to look at what the daughter did and ask him if he was excited to be that age, so he could do similar projects.
And this (imo) is key, when the boy knocks down all the girls blocks, mom should have said "sounds like you have a problem. I know you two are old enough to work it out together and find a solution. Please let me know what it is, I can't wait to hear what you've come up with." Instead of chastising one or the other and trying to solve such a simple problem for the kids.
Really, this book should be an example of how NOT to raise your kids. I would like to get it again, so I can read it to my kids and see if they can identify what the parent SHOULD be doing, instead of "learning sympathy".
I'm giving it two stars, because the kids seemed like typical relatable kids, but I thought the story was geared to the wrong audience. The kids aren't the ones who need to change, the clueless parents are.
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Eric Summers The story was told from the POV of view of each of the children. Most children feel that their parents play favorites with the other child, even if they have Super Mom and Super Dad who have read every parenting book on the planet.

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