Work Title: The Unhappy Child: What Every Parent Needs to Know
Work Author(s): Kenneth N. Condrell
244 pages, Softcover $18.00
Reviewer: Amy Rea
Although early twenty-five percent of U.S. children suffer from depression, fewer than twenty percent of emotionally troubled children in this country receive help. Yet the vast majority of parents, if asked, would likely say that what they want most is for their child to be happy. This dichotomy speaks volumes, both about the difficulties of raising children in the U.S. today and about how children really do have strong emotional lives that need support and care, just as much as their physical beings. But not all parents are easily prepared for that type of care.
In this book, the nerve-wracking topic of depressed children is covered soothingly and proactively. The author, a child psychologist and family practice therapist who has been in private practice for thirty-five years, has seen thousands of families with depressed children, and he wrote this book to address the primary causes of that unhappiness: mismanaged divorces or stepfamilies; depressed, quarreling, angry, or overly permissive parents; children who feel like failures; peer rejection and cruelty; parental favoritism; and sibling abuse. It is a daunting list---but Condrell breaks each cause down in individual chapters, looking at the symptoms and outcomes, then provides examples from his years of experience as a therapist. Heartbreaking stories of children who feel unloved, who feel no one will ever love them, resonate as examples of how deeply children feel their own pain.
Although this may sound grim, each chapter...