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The Science of Parenting by Margot…
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The Science of Parenting

by Margot Sunderland

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    Children Are People Too: A Parent's Guide to Young Children's Behaviour by Louise Porter (erebus53)
    erebus53: A psychologically reasoned approach that favours responsive parenting and provides practical methods that avoid such psychologically devastating techniques as time-outs.
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this is a really interesting book about brain development as it relates to parenting. highly recommended for parents of young children and parents-to-be. ( )
  julierh | Apr 7, 2013 |
This is a parenting book, as opposed to a science book, with all the benefits and pitfalls inherent in that. The style it is written in is quite accessible, though the tone tends to be a little emotive for my tastes. It really irritated me that Sunderland continually referred to things like the autonomic parts of the brain as a child's "reptilian" brain. This is obviously a pet way for the author to get across her ideas of higher cognitive function and emotional response systems etc. in a way that speaks to a mother, rather than repeatedly using big scientific words, but it just felt condescending to me.

I found I had to read this book in quite an aware way. At times I was trying to discern scientific fact from scientific theory as it wasn't always obvious. Many of the conclusions drawn are from studies on extreme cases, such as studies on extreme maternal deprivation, criminals and the severely emotionally disturbed. Some of the assertions were based on the theories of one or two specific scientists, rather than accepted theory from longitudinal studies. I don't think in all cases such conclusions are as important as Sunderland makes them out to be and in some cases they can be quite alarmist, especially to vulnerable first parents (such as a point that she makes about a mother being stressed in pregnancy causing her boy to be transgendered - way to stress out a parent! 'Calm down now! You're destroying your child's chances at a normal life!' okay, so I'm overstating things for effect).

This book seems to be written for ease of access on specific topics. It has bullet point summaries and big boldface quotes, much like a magazine; this can lead to it being somewhat repetitive if you are reading it from cover to cover.

I really appreciated the information on the physiological effects of mother-child bed sharing and the insistence that a child's emotional needs should be met by responsive and communicative parenting rather than baby training and controlled crying techniques.

It seemed to me to be rather at odds with the first chapters of the book when it came to the discipline sections and there were guidelines for Time-Outs and other similarly destructive punishments. I found that the view of children was a little inconsistent as it was hard to tell when the author would advocate being responsive to a child's needs or when she would think it appropriate to train a child out of a behaviour regardless of its needs. I think it's telling that the author occasionally refers to a child as naughty, which is an un-helpful label from my perspective and doesn't fit with my parenting style. It might work for others, but if there is any part of this book that I would take with me for my parenting strategy it is not from this section of the book.

In the last section of the book there are some strategies for parental self care which are designed to help you get on top of your body's own natural chemistry. Again, a lot of this is simplified information and more often given as guidelines without precise explanations. This is probably a good thing to make the information accessible; if you want good information about nutrition for mental health there are better places to go to get the information, but this is fine for a general parenting manual.

This is the sort of book for which the phrase "take what you can use and ignore the rest" was invented. ( )
  erebus53 | Jul 2, 2010 |
Excellent book which considers the effect of attachment and parenting on brain development. Susan Wakefield ( )
  corecollection | Jul 14, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0756618800, Hardcover)

Intriguing, thought-provoking, and controversial, this book offers practical parenting techniques, explains how a baby's brain is hardwired, and gives strategies for parents at each age and stage of their baby's development to ensure that their child is psychologically well adjusted, balanced, and emotionally healthy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:57 -0400)

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My Friend with Autism is the exceptional result of a parent's determination to help her special needs son fit in with his peers, and to foster tolerance and understanding among her son's friends and schoolmates. Author Beverly Bishop teaches high school computer classes and is the technology coordinator for a private K-12 school. The accompanying cd contains printable coloring pages that reinforce the lessons of the book. The pages present an opportuinty for learning and interaction with parnets. The cd contains additional printable information for adults. All of the information appears in the book.… (more)

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