The Girls and Boys Book About Good and Bad Behavior

For Children and Their Parents, Teachers, Counselors, and Therapists


  • Describes self-esteem to children
  • Important benefits of shame and guilt
  • Understanding what real remorse is
  • Understanding sympathy
  • The difference between good fun and bad fun
  • Good ways to let out anger

We are becoming increasingly aware of the need for strengthening children's healthy values and ethics. We are living at a time when moral erosion has become painfully apparent. In this book, Dr. Gardner uses didactic material, vignettes, and engaging illustrations (by Al Lowenheim) to engender what he considers to be psychologically healthy values and ethics in his readers.

The book's introduction for parents, teachers, and therapists describes its purposes and the best ways to utilize it. The introductory chapter provides children with similar information. The primary text consists of eight chapters: 1) Self-Esteem 2) Pleasure and Pain 3) Shame 4) Guilt 5) Sympathy 6) Stop, Look, Listen, and Think 7) Flight and Flight, Anger and Fear 8) Love. This is not simply a book about values and ethics, but also about human relationships and psychological development.

The book is written at the early-mid elementary school level and is designed to be read along with parents. The issues raised serve well as points of departure for parent-child discussions. Older children are generally drawn in'the writing level notwithstanding. Teachers will find this book valuable for class discussions. The book should prove extremely valuable for class discussions focusing on values and ethics. For therapists it is a form of bibliotherapy: every page includes issues commonly raised in treatment. Each issue, then, can serve as a point of departure for meaningful psychotherapeutic intervention.

Dr. Gardner considered this book to be the most unique of all his children's books, the one that would ltimately have the greatest impact of them all.

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