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Critical reading for academicians, sociologists, school and children program developers. Anne summarizes critical research pertaining to the long term effects within society of our undernutured children. For the health of our children in achieving their full potential, dreams and contributions to subsequent generations, this book is a MUST read. Every day that passes without our awareness of the effects of our current patterns in society regarding our children is a day too late. Ships without ashore provides this insight! 

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Anne Pierce, in the new paperback edition, gives an updated understanding of the issues facing parents of today. With the depth of research, the issues can be understood and actions, even at the personal family level can be taken to find solutions.

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Motivated by the negligence of modern parents on determining appropriate childrearing approaches, Anne Pierce examines the harsh consequences American society inflicts upon our children in “Ships Without a Shore”. Today’s standards create no solid foundation for substantial growth as the pressures of early-age education, improving talents, organized sports and creating impressive resumes takes away from the innocence and creativity children thrive upon. Pierce suggests that moral values have become optional as children turn to the media and their peers for guidance as a result of a household with two working parents, who are often too busy for adequate family time. The definition of a nuclear family has changed in the past two decades to include mothers who seek fulfillment in the workplace rather than their homes, single parent families as a result of teen and out-of-wedlock pregnancies, and the increasing divorce rate. These social issues directly affect children as mothers are contributing to their family’s financial wellbeing, rather than satisfying parent-child relationships. According to Pierce, this model for the self-fulfilled mother is supported by the media’s portrayal of powerful women in the corporate world and popular opinion that mothers should be free from guilt of leaving their duties at home. The data presented by the media on the effects of two working parents is a seemingly reasonable situation for families, yet the figures are often misleading: as Pierce’s research points out, many of the so-called ‘working mothers’ hold part time jobs, have flexible hours, or work from home and are therefore a constant presence in her child’s life and providing at-home care rather than institutionalized. She argues that many daycares promote ‘early learning’, which often is not age appropriate, and sheds light that although several centers may be high quality, no child will receive the same love and trust that a parent can provide. Many psychological problems arise from the abandonment of infants and young children to daycare and early learning centers that create adolescent and adult disorders. Pierce gathers many scientific studies and includes them in her text, making the information available and understandable to the reader. She also provides comprehensive examples of worldly political and psychological trends that have influenced popular thought, such as the Soviet Revolution, which placed focus on the community rather than families, and the justification of any and all choices in our current cultural relativism. Furthermore, the text cites specific familial examples of various interviews conducted by Pierce, and even personal accounts from her experience as a ‘working’ mother. “Ships Without a Shore” gives a voice to the mothers who fight the pressure to return to the workforce; those who are ignored because popular opinion is much easier to accept than the truth that is hard to hear. Anne Pierce reminds parents that children can learn outside institutions and structured activities; children must grow in their imaginations and especially, in love. This book forces us to ask, ‘What are the optimal conditions for rearing a child?’ rather than simply finding a convenient solution for parents. 

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