In recent years, many books have been published on the topic of Jewish parenting. What sets this book apart from others is the powerful message of its author, Allan Gonsher, who is an experienced family therapist with the dual perspective of a practicing Jew and a clinician trained in psychology and inter-personal dynamics. An Allowance is Not a Bribe is the result of this unique viewpoint on Jewish parenting. The author shows parents how a Torah-based life holds many answers to the deepest needs within every Jewish individual and how belief in God and the performance of mitzvot offer the coping skills necessary for dealing with the emotional challenges of today's world. Again and again, the author calls upon his knowledge of psychology and interconnects his experience with the tools of counseling and his faith in Judaism to offer guidance to today's parents. Neither a "how to" nor a discussion of overall parenting skills, An Allowance is Not a Bribe follows the author's personal "Jewish journey" as it pertains to his life and his perspective on the subject of raising responsible Jewish children. For Gonsher, a passionate commitment to Judaism is the most important legacy he and his wife have given their three sons. Thus, he encourages other Jewish parents to start their own Jewish journeys and to serve as role models in secular standards and in matters of faith and spirituality, from the time their children enter pre-school until they are grown. For example, Gonsher explains the "4-B Approach" for helping children as young as six become responsible for their bedroom, bathroom, breakfast, and backpack.
An Allowance Is Not a Bribe: And Other Helpful Hints for Raising Responsible Jewish Children is a wonderful book about modern child rearing in the Jewish tradition. Its author, Allan Gonsher, brings years of experience as a psychotherapist to parenting during each stage in the family cycle. He approaches the task in a child-friendly manner with deep insight and good humor. On the whole, An Allowance Is Not a Bribe has my highest level of recommendation. It richly achieves the author's stated goal, to strengthen Jewish families, and will be of great interest to anyone attempting to raise stable, healthy children. The book is easy to read and enjoyable. It has universal appeal.--Dr. Paul Fine, Creighton University and Mercer University