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Instinctive Parenting: Trusting Ourselves to Raise Good Kids Hardcover – March 16, 2010
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"With Instinctive Parenting, Ada Calhoun has captured the zeitgeist of the postmodern American family in the uniquely compelling voice that has made her the brightest star in the new generation of parenting writers. I loved this book and can't wait to hand it out to all of my pregnant friends." -- Katie Allison Granju, author of Attachment Parenting
"Why did I ever worry about motherhood? I read this book and was instantly cured!" -- Lisa Crystal Carver, author of Dancing Queen
"Thank you, Ada Calhoun! Instinctive Parenting injects sensitivity, smarts, and a welcome dose of sanity into the often-overwrought process of raising kids. Prospective parents: Never mind What to Expect -- this is What You Need." -- Pamela Paul, author of Parenting, Inc.
"This book is light and funny and also very wise and wonderful." -- Tara McKelvey, author of Monstering
"From the delivery room to the playground and beyond, Ada Calhoun bravely defies the cult of perfection today's new parents must endure. No bossy, patronizing advice given here, Instinctive Parenting simply encourages parents to rely on their own good judgment and trust themselves (and each other) to raise their children -- not perfectly -- but perfectly well." -- Kathryn J. Alexander, coauthor of Easy Labor: Every Woman's Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth
"I love this book. It's smart, funny, and easy to read. More importantly, it's an advice book that 1) won't stress you out, and 2) is worth its weight in gold." -- Kathleen Hanna
"The book I've been desperate for has arrived -- a common sense and compassionate approach to helping parents navigate the task of raising a child. Most importantly, it reminds us we are not alone and that we can trust ourselves." -- Lili Taylor
About the Author
Ada Calhoun was the founding editor-in-chief of the award-winning parenting site Babble.com. She is the co-author of Tim Gunn's book Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making it Work, and has written for the New York Times, New York magazine, the New York Post, Salon.com and TIME magazine. She lives in New York City with her husband and young son.
Top customer reviews
Anyway, along comes Calhoun with Instinctive Parenting. She taps into the happy medium between other approaches and highlights how raising kids comes naturally if you let it. I see other reviewers mentioned the somewhat memoir-esque quality of Calhoun's writing. To me, her light touch is part of her skill at getting her point across. I learn more when I get to dot some I's and cross some T's in my own mind. Calhoun's restraint in letting me do that makes the book a better and more engaging read, and keeps Instinctive Parenting from getting anywhere near the finger-wag of most parenting books.
For example: Calhoun mentions how lots of parents won't let their kids drink juice because of its empty calories. Her son is [gasp] allowed to have juice, diluted with water to add fluoride. She describes how other kids surround her juice-bearing son at the playground "like zombies smelling brains." She mentions her husband's bafflement at the anti-juice brigade, as he was "raised in Texas on candy and soda" (haha!). And she addresses the huge hassle created for both parents and kids by obsessive food-monitoring and denial-mongering. "Food should be fun," she writes, "Or at the very least it shouldn't require such a lot of work." She's right -- if you're going to fight with your kid over everything that goes into his mouth, good luck on the road ahead -- and I think we all know it deep down. I'm glad Calhoun has come along to point it out.
Anyway, I loved this book and I think all parents should check it out. Especially those obsessive, parenting-book-reading, juice-denying types. Trust me, it'll make your whole family much happier. And I'd be willing to bet money that Calhoun has a lovely kid!
the whole point of the book is to demonstrate that you need to trust your own instincts on what is best for your baby & child. Society, media, neighbors, friends, family will all be more than happy to try and convince you that THIS or THAT needs to be done in order to be a good parent. This is especially so in our consumer driven society.
The author touches on the pressures in our culture around parenting - from buying the "in" baby equipment, to parenting in a particular style. Essentially, we're all individuals who have differing needs and styles and there are no one size fits all. Follow your instincts - our species has survived thousands of years without Dr. Spock, Baby sleep trainers, High-end strollers, seperate rooms for babies, etc. Most of the needs we associate with babies today are purely the constructs of our culture or society. Go to a different culture and things are done differently.
Two great parenting books that discuss an instinctive parenting style in more detail, including how it's been done across the globe both currently and in the past are:
Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent - an absolutely amazing book comparing the way babies are viewed and cared for in various societies from the perspective of an anthropologist who became a mom herself and was curious. A great view of more instinctual parenting methods across the globe.
The Continuum Concept: In Search Of Happiness Lost (Classics in Human Development) - a bit dated, but has incredible information on a natural, instinctive style of parenting that has been used in tribal societies for thousands of years. The last chapter is a bit out there, but if you consider the norms of our culture in the 1970's it's not quite so surprising. Despite the age of this book I HIGHLY recommend it!
Books on attachment parenting, which is also often also called "instinctive parenting" might be a great choice for someone seeking guidance for a more natural, instinctive parenting method.
I like this book. I think the mixed reviews are due to a misunderstanding around what the purpose of the book is. It is not a guide or manual on how to parent, but rather a thoughtful, loving discussion on how society instructs us to parent in a way that devalues and discounts our own instinctive knowing. The emphasis is to trust yourself and your judgement of what is best for you and your child. It is not intended for someone who truly needs education or guidance on raising a child/parenting. It assumes a basic knowledge and to trust yourself beyond that point.
Most recent customer reviews
There was even a sentence in the book comforting the reader for not responding to their baby's cries,...Read more
I wish I could say I learned something.Read more