As a psychotherapist who works with children and adolescents, I am always looking for the impossible – a book that engages both adults and children and teaches “the big lessons” of life with humor and wit. I may have found just that in Marc Gellman’s “Always Wear Clean Underwear!”: And Other Ways Parents Say “I Love You” published in 2000 by Harper Collins in paperback. While it may not be a new book, its message withstands the test of time.
Gellman’s list of 32 annoying parental “Do’s and Don’ts” is the subject of this delightful book. In a light hearted way, Gellman explains the “hidden reason” behind the oft repeated phrases (Don’t pee in the pool, Don’t talk with your mouth full, Clean your plate, Do your homework etc.). Everything on the list has a big meaning and a little meaning. Gellman is right in saying that once you understand the Big meaning of each phrase you will be a better person. Sounds stuffy but the truth is once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down. This is just the type of book you could read a chapter at a time together with your child before bedtime. It’s funny, thought provoking and life changing. A MUST HAVE for any parent serious about raising balanced, thinking, caring children.
Guest Reviewer, Barbara Waldman, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist with 38 years of experience in working with children, adolescents and families. She practices in La Canada, California.