Sunday, June 25, 2017

Eight Is Enough

Eight Is Enough by Tom Braden
Open Road Media: 6/20/17
eBook; 173 pages
ISBN-13: 9781504045353

Eight Is Enough by Tom Braden has been re-released by Open Road Media in the eBook format. This is a highly recommended, nostalgic look-back at parenting in the early 70's. Although many things in the book are dated now, the original book was published in the mid-seventies, it still provides many amusing anecdotes and practical parenting advice, as well as some personal opinions. Just as the TV show, Braden does address some serious concerns he had at the time, including drugs, alcohol, and premarital sex, along with more amusing stories. Admittedly, there is a lot of name dropping in the book. It's hard to say if this was intentional or simply a reflection of the life the Braden's lived.

Many people will recall the popular TV show of the same title and loosely based on Braden's book. Parents are Tom and Joan (only in the TV show stepmother Abby appeared very quickly since the original actress playing Joan died after 4 episodes). The eight children are: David, Mary, Joannie, Susan, Nancy, Elizabeth, Tommy, and Nicholas. Tom Braden actually lived a rather colorful, interesting life, but was played, as I recall, as a rather affable and agreeable advice-giver on the TV show. The show did tackle some tough, timely issues but naturally things were solved quickly.

There were several interesting quotes, but I'll only share three.

The first was Mother's Rule, meaning Braden's mother: "The 'good' books we force upon the young in contravention of our knowledge that the purpose of the young is to contravene. Therefore, learning must be secret and illegal. If you really want a child to read something, there is only one way: Hide it." My mother insisted that nobody had ever tried her rule. But I have. It works. I hide the 'good' books, or I put them on the highest shelves.

"I think the deans of our colleges have yielded too easily. Respect, consideration, thoughtfulness and kindness, privacy and forbearance are still virtues worth inculcating. And when they fall before the strength of the new sexual morality, style loses meaning and, I should think, college dormitories become barns. I’m sure I sound old-fashioned."

"There is a time in the life of a man and a woman, between childhood and adulthood, between dependence and responsibility, between desire and the ability to cope with it, between wanting something and deciding to earn it, when the human being, physically grown and emotionally childish, is a very dangerous animal."

Disclosure: My
review copy was courtesy of Open Road Media.

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