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 Table of Contents    
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 485-486
Parenting, its agony and ecstasy

Formerly President, Indian Psychiatric Society, “SHRISHTI” N8/ 180-118 Rajendra Vihar, Lane 6A, Newada, Sunderpur, Varanasi - 221 005, Uttar Pradesh, India

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Date of Web Publication27-Dec-2016

How to cite this article:
Sharma I. Parenting, its agony and ecstasy. Indian J Psychiatry 2016;58:485-6

How to cite this URL:
Sharma I. Parenting, its agony and ecstasy. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 Nov 29];58:485-6. Available from:

Author: Pratap Mehta
Published In: 2017
Publisher: Bhalani Publishing House, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Price: On request
ISBN: 9789381496367
Pages: 158

Issues relating to parenting have assumed great importance in recent times. Rapid technological advancements, fast pace of life, and socioeconomic changes have created new types of problems. Computers, internet, television, mobiles, and free mixing of sexes have become the order of the day. Great importance is being given to higher education and career, and more women are seeking professional vocations. Parents have the responsibility of upbringing the child in a manner so that the child grows into a healthy and productive adult. In their endeavor, they are confronted with many challenges as there are no parenting models to emulate. Thus, this book on “Parenting its Agony and Ecstasy” is welcome. It will fill up the growing need for better understanding of various aspects of parenting.

Pratap Mehta, the author of this book, is a noted psychiatrist. He is the former President of Indian Psychiatric Society-West Zone and has professional experience, of more than half a century, in psychiatry/child psychiatry from India and abroad. The foreword of the book is by Pragnai Pai, former Director, Medical Education and Major Hospitals, who has highlighted very aptly the need for this book in view of the changing social scenario; the responsibility child rearing shifting from the entire family to the parents. The book has 19 chapters. The first five chapters are on some basic concepts such as history, wild child, research work on rhesus monkeys, imprinting, and breastfeeding. The next two chapters are on parental attitudes (healthy and unhealthy) and types of emotions. Five chapters are devoted to the stages of childhood from infancy, toddler, preschool years, and school years, to adolescence. Common problems of children such as sleep disorders, school phobia, migraine, bizarre motor, and psychic behavior have been covered in separate chapters. Apart from this, important topics such as sex education, communication with the child, and concept formation (inclusive of number and time concept) have been added. A glossary covering a wide range of topics from “What is neurosis” to “Jean Piaget” is provided.

The main contribution of the book is the coverage of basic knowledge on child development and parenting, which is essential for formulating parenting guidelines. The beauty of the book is the simple language and several examples cited by the author from his extensive professional experience. The chapter on “Wild child” is interesting as it highlights the fact that without parenting children behave like wild animals.

Some points deserve mention. In Chapter 9, the author suggests “never attempt or pressurize the child for toilet training before 18th months.” This appears to be a Western concept. In India, many mothers start toilet training after the 1st month, and the infant is toilet trained by 3–6 months. Health education with regard to drug abuse (alcohol, cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco) has not been covered. There scant coverage of school mental health and role of parents in monitoring education and career planning. A chapter on the controlled use of computers, mobile, internet, and other modern appliances, and gender sensitivity would have been worthwhile.

This book will be useful to psychiatrists and postgraduate students of psychiatry. Psychologists, social workers, student counselors, psychiatric nurses, parents, and school teachers will also be benefitted greatly by reading this book.

Correspondence Address:
Indira Sharma
Formerly President, Indian Psychiatric Society, “SHRISHTI” N8/ 180-118 Rajendra Vihar, Lane 6A, Newada, Sunderpur, Varanasi - 221 005, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.196724

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