Top positive review
64 people found this helpful
A thought-provoking read
on June 11, 2006
I just bought this book a few days ago, and completely adore it. There are quite a few child-rearing styles out there, from attachment to Ferberizing, and new parents can feel completely overwhelmed with the anecdotes and 'expert advice' thrown their way from every side-- especially when they don't know what effect any of those tactics will have on their little one.
This book clears up the mystery by providing scientific research on how an infant's brain is affected by his/her early experiences with you (the parent); namely, it demonstrates that how you respond to the baby's emotions/needs is the biggest component in how they view themselves and the world-- both at the time and decades later, well into adulthood. As the introduction notes, for many years "we have been using child-rearing techniques without awareness of the possible long-term effects, because until now we simply could not see the effects of our actions on a child's developing brain. But with the advances of neuroscience, brain scans, and years of research on the brains of primates and other mammals, we no longer have the innocence of ignorance. For several years, science has been revealing to us that key emotional systems in the human brain are powerfully molded for better or worse by parenting experiences."
The serious subject matter might make you worry it's more of a textbook than anything else-- but don't be fooled. The layout of the book makes it exceedingly easy to read and digest, and the photos (which are numerous) are nice and colorful. There are also lots of sidebars and little nuggets of information scattered throughout the pages, which breaks the text up and makes it even easier to read.
All in all, this is a top-notch parenting guide, and I say this as someone who owns a LOT of child-rearing books! If I could give "The Science of Parenting" 10 stars, I would.