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Book Talk: Goodenoughmothering, with Elaine Heffner

"So, just what is 'good enough?' To answer that question we have to think about the purpose of child-rearing: what our goal is as parents. We know that children are dependent creatures who have to be taken care of -- sometimes it seems forever. We know that we must provide them with food, shelter and clothing. But we also have to prepare and teach them to live in the world they will live in. That means becoming self-sufficient while at the same time knowing how to get along with others. They have to learn to meet their own needs while considering the needs and wishes of others. This is the art of living. Teaching this to children is the art of mothering." (Goodenoughmothering: The Best of the Blog, Introduction, pp. 13-14.)

Goodenoughmothering: The Best of the Blog discusses the issues parents have raised with Dr. Elaine Heffner during her many years of professional work as a parent educator. The inspirational book comprises a selection of enlightening posts from the author's blog, and reflects the feelings and concerns of parents, conveying a specific message: There is no perfect; good enough is good enough.

Elaine Heffner, LCSW, Ed.D, is a psychotherapist and parent educator in private practice in New York City and a Senior Lecturer of Education in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. She co-founded and directed the Nursery School Treatment Center at Payne Whitney Clinic, New York Hospital. Dr. Heffner is the author of Mothering: The Emotional Experience of Motherhood after Freud and Feminism (Doubleday, 1978; Anchor Press, 1980). She has also written for Redbook, Parents Magazine,, Disney online, and Dr. Heffner is married to Richard D. Heffner, host of Open Mind, and is a mother of two children, and grandmother of four.

Persons wishing to attend the book talk may rsvp via online support by Monday, June 17th.

Where: 305 Russell

Individuals with disabilities are invited to request reasonable accommodations including, but not limited to sign language interpretation, Braille or large print materials, and a campus map of accessible features. Address these requests to the Office of Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities at (212) 678-3689,, or Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services at (212) 678-3853  (Voice/tty), (646)755-3144 (VP)




  • Jennifer Govan
  • 212-678-3022
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