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Foreword of  Dr. Rosalie Tatsuguchi's

Why Smart Parents Do the Same Dumb Things

by:  Walter S. O. Fo, Ph.D. 

Foreword

On the heels of Dr. Rosalie Tatsuguchi's three prior works--Caring for Loved Ones and Yourself, Why Smart People Do the Same Dumb Things, and Why Smart Men Do the Same Dumb Things--now comes Why Smart Parents Do the Same Dumb Things.

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Not content to merely rehash the substance of her earlier books as applied now to parents, Dr. Tatsuguchi offers a more fully integrated conceptual framework--along with an accompanying "toolbox" that is brimming with practical suggestions--for parents to avoid the common pitfalls of raising children in today's complex and ever changing world, while at the same time equipping their children with the skills to manage their lives in a competent and responsible manner.

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Having grown up in Hawaii as a Nisei, a second generation American of Japanese ancestry whose missionary father came from a family of 14 generations of Buddhist priests in Japan, Dr. Tatsuguchi is well-versed to distill some of the core principles of Buddhism as they apply to child-rearing.  Further equipped by her experience as a former teacher of children with learning problems and then as a psychologist in clinical practice for over 40 years, Dr. Tatsuguchi is well-positioned to integrate concepts of Buddhism and Science that share a common ground--wherein, e.g. considerations of cause-and-effect inform life's decisions with wisdom and compassion. The offspring of this marriage of two distinctly different--yet surprisingly compatible--worldviews is a refreshingly practical approach to child-rearing, that simply put, just makes a lot of sense!

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The passion that Dr. Tatsuguchi brings to this latest endeavor is plain to see.  It is an expression of the same commitment that she has brought day-in and day-out to her work as a psychotherapist, helping people to overcome whatever is holding them back from being the person they want to be.  Decades of coming alongside her clients in their life's journey have been instrumental in informing her what is truly contributive to their well-being--along with what detracts significantly from it.  Sprinkled throughout the pages of her book are stories of her own clients' experiences--shared with gratitude by Dr. Tatsuguchi, with their names changed to ensure their anonymity--that serve as compelling examples that illustrate some of the key concepts of her approach to child rearing.

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The reader will quickly discover that Dr. Tatsuguchi is not one to endorse the view that "happy children are born, not made."  She is similarly adamant in rejecting the notion that smart parents are born, not made.  In fact, throughout the book Dr. Tatsuguchi gently exhorts the reader to embrace the principles and methods that she is sharing--as a person and parent first, before seeking to teach them to their children.  Otherwise the disparity between what parents say and what they do will most assuredly not be lost on their children, who--as any parent discovers to his or her chagrin--are all too quick to recognize and call out any discrepancy between the talk and the walk!

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Accordingly, Dr. Tatsuguchi encourages her readers to apply to themselves such practices as safeguarding their own busshin, admitting their mistakes, and extending grace to themselves--as a prelude to their efforts to teach these pivotal concepts to their children. In this way, the book can be expected to be especially helpful to parents who feel that they were not adequately parented themselves as children growing up--and, who may have given up on the idea of ever becoming a parent because of their own experience of being raised as children!

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Much more than simply a "how-to-manual," Why Smart Parents Do the Same Dumb Things is at its core a veritable blueprint for parents to follow as they live competent and happy lives, while at the same time serving as a model for their children to emulate.

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So, dear reader, join-in on the fun as you embark on the life-long adventure of becoming the most effective and loving person that you can be--while simultaneously striving as parents to guide your children in becoming the best that they can be!

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Walter S. O. Fo, Ph.D. 

Chief Psychological Medical Consultant

Disability Determination Branch

Vocational Rehabilitation Division

State of Hawai'i Department of Human Services