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The first trade book to give a detailed, easy to understand, age-by-age discussion of the psychological development of children. The style is excellently suited towards Psychology & Counseling studies, and will teach students the material clearly without overcomplicating the subject.
Did you know that babies still in their mothers' wombs can hear, taste, and smell? From the latest research, it is now understood that early sense experiences are fundamental to the attachment between mother and child that shapes a child's success in school, with friends, and in the adult world. Then there are the surprising results from studies on praise, empathy, and discipline that have turned childrearing and educational practices on their heads. Perhaps the most exciting new science now at our disposal concerns the exquisite dance between nature and nurture and how it determines a child's life experiences. These and hundreds of other fascinating insights, and the research that brought them to our attention, are laid out for your discovery in this book.
With all the new ways available to us to see the workings of the human brain, watching a child grow and blossom is still an experience of awe for me. I've worked as a child psychiatrist for the last 40 years. During that time, I've taught the theory and practice of child psychology and psychiatry to thousands of undergraduates and medical students. Standing before judges, I've helped courts determine the "best interests of the child" in cases where the competency of a child's parent(s) was in doubt. I've also counseled parents attempting to fulfill their responsibilities to guide and nurture their children against great odds. Perhaps most meaningfully, I've listened to children and adolescents as they struggled to overcome mental disorders or disabilities or just the "normal" challenges of growing up.
From all these experiences, I appreciate that children come into this world with instincts to thrive intellectually, emotionally, and morally. But as the world around them goes faster and life becomes more complex, a child needs more support and guidance. In the 22 chapters contained in this book, my co-author Victoria Costello and I have provided the essential building blocks of knowledge needed by students of psychology, parents, teachers, and anyone else who wants to help children grow and learn.
Jack C. Westman, M.D., M.S.