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The Secure Child: Helping Children Feel Safe and Confident in a Changing World Hardcover – June 4, 2002

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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When faced with circumstances utterly beyond our control, it's hard enough for adults to remain grounded; children can have an even more difficult time of it when their parents are feeling this way. The Secure Child doesn't promise to make everything all right, but it does provide some basic guidelines that can help pull families in crisis more tightly together.

The first chapter introduces four basic principals: spending time together, expressing feelings, reassurance, and helping others. Whether your child is 2 or 17, these fundamentals vary only in the presentation, and specific details are addressed to each age group in later chapters. Author Stanley Greenspan discusses the characteristics that secure children show, and how those traits are expressed at every age. Also incorporated are simple ways--through play, daily chats, and volunteer activities--that allow parents to easily interact with their kids to relieve tension and supply real nurturing. Elementary parenting techniques are used, with reminders about choosing your battles, maintaining empathy, and setting limits attached to age-appropriate actions.

Helping someone else feel secure when you're afraid can be extremely challenging, but this short, simple guidebook will help your whole family rest a little easier. --Jill Lightner

From Library Journal

From playground bullies and overfilled schedules to the aftershocks of the September 11 terrorist attacks, these books address contemporary childhood stresses. Marks, an M.D. who worked in a New York City trauma and burn center in the aftermath of the attacks, offers good, if general, observations (e.g., "Fear, loss of control, instability, and insecurity can cause a great deal of stress in children"), but his tone is ultimately alienating. Neither scientific nor journalistic, he attempts to persuade readers into accepting his personal rationale for what upsets children. Scenarios are directed at children of the suburban and urban upper class instead of a wider audience. This can grate, as when he implies that all Americans are materialistic, celebrity obsessed, and media manipulated (Marks himself is a health reporter for NBC). Not recommended; consider instead Sheldon Lewis and Sheila Kay Lewis's Stress-Proofing Your Child or Nancy Poffenberger's focused September 11, 2001: A Simple Account for Children. Like Marks, Greenspan (The Irreducible Needs of Children) notes that our culture can create "deep insecurity" but that children can become successful by creating and maintaining relationships with others. Unlike Marks, however, Greenspan did not cobble this together in response to September 11. Greenspan argues that the child who "can figure out the world and understand how emotions and relationships work" is termed "resilient." Against the backdrop of four guiding principles (spend time together, offer reassurance, express feelings, and help others), chapters illuminate developmental stages in nurturing resiliency. Offered tools include the adaptable "floor time," where adults follow "the child's lead helping him to engage with others, communicate," explore feelings, etc., in the "safe" environment of home. Greenspan's tone has a wise-old-man-on-the-mountaintop quality, but the book's brevity can make some material feel underdeveloped. Yet overall, his developmental approach is tried and true and will attract many readers looking for thoughtful advice. For all libraries. Douglas C. Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Hartford
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; First Edition edition (June 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738207500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738207506
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,255,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By K. Rodgers on January 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Although this book is a response to Sept. 11, it is useful to any parent with a child who at times experiences rejection, insecurity or awkwardness. In other words, any parent. Among Greenspan's recommendations are daily "floor time" of at least 30 minutes with each child and being empathetic with your children even after they have misbehaved. I plan to focus on floor time and empathy with my 5-year-old, and I believe doing so will improve our relationship.
The only reason I didn't give this book five stars is I suspect many of the ideas are not original to this particular book. Greenspan has written, co-written or edited 19 previous books on child psychology.
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