From Publishers Weekly
Carlsson-Paige, a professor of early childhood education and conflict resolution at Lesley University and consultant for several PBS television shows, has a lot of practical advice for parents who want to build better—nonviolent, caring, creative—relationships with their children. Children don't need electronic gizmos and brainy software, she maintains; they do need lots of creative play opportunities, a strong sense of personal security and positive relationships with other children and adults. Carlsson-Paige encourages parents to model problem solving and cooperative behavior for their children. Thus, parents shouldn't use power over their kids (issuing orders, calling time-outs), but instead try power sharing, getting on the same side of a problem with the kids and figuring out a resolution together. Parents should stop buying pre-scripted media-based toys (Power Rangers, Nemo spinoffs) and instead buy open-ended toys like blocks and modeling clay that allow children to expand their creativity. There is not much new here, and Carlsson-Paige is often preaching to the choir, but readers will want to believe in her argument that compassionate parenting will produce a less violent and more humane world. (Apr.)
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Dr. Carlsson-Paige is dedicated to the well-being of children. In Taking Back Childhood, she provides real-life examples for preserving childrens creative play and relationships from the unhealthy onslaught of media and technological distractions. I highly recommend it.
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Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Judge Baker Childrens Center
Taking Back Childhood brims with practical advice for the challenges parents face today. Nancy Carlsson-Paige speaks with emotional wisdom.
Daniel Goleman, author of the New York Times bestsellers Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence
If you are like most parents, you're worried about the new realities of childhood violence, sexualization, the speed-up of daily life, materialism topics which are not adequately covered in the classic parenting guides. How much TV? What to do when a child is disrespectful? What's causing the tantrums or excessive anxiety? Nancy Carlsson-Paige's brilliant new book shows parents how to navigate the treacherous waters of our culture, and our children's reactions to it. Based on decades of research, teaching, and practice in the philosophy of child-development, she returns us to the basic needs of creativity, security, and connection. As you read it, I suspect it will not only profoundly affect how you parent, but also how you live your own life. Taking Back Childhood deserves to take its place among the classics, read and re-read by parents everywhere.
Juliet B. Schor, author of Born to Buy; Professor of Sociology, Boston College
"With Taking Back Childhood, Dr. Carlsson-Paige explains the many ways our culture and media are threatening our children's healthy development. She gives adults concrete strategies for fighting back. Today's parents need this book."
Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund
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