Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
A Hopeful Guide to Better Future Generations
on January 6, 2016
Bruce Perry is a psychologist with extensive study and experience in his field. Although many adults, arrogant parents in particular, think they know what is best for their children under all circumstances, Perry shows that by looking at parenting from many angles, it is possible to provide children with better environments, happier lives and more upstanding and productive lives as adults. As the old meme goes, when children see adults show kindness to animals and the less fortunate, they internalise these lessons and apply them in their own lives. Brutal and violent parenting, on the other hand, can lead to bitter adults that see everyone else as their enemies. Having never been shown trust, they assume that everyone else is as untrustworthy as the brutes that "looked after" them as children and teenagers.
A wise young mother, Mama P, exemplifies the ideal maternal approach to parenting. Children need what they need, and they should not be put into boxes of "toddler," "adolescent," "teenager" or "male" or "female" and treated according to social mores and stereotypes. No qualified doctor would think of prescribing insulin to a non-diabetic. Some children, starved for affection by callous or simply ignorant parents, will fail to reach their full potential, even when it comes to something as basic as growth. Young children cannot simply become physically healthy adults simply by ingesting nutrients. If human contact isn't there, toddlers will remain short-statured and could even die from neglect alone. A study in the 1940s found that over a third of neglected infants simply die. This was described in great detail in Failure to Thrive: a Practice Guide by Chichester and published in the United Kingdom.
Perry details several riveting case studies, including a young girl who was raped, children who were fortunately rescued from the Branch Davidian cult, and one victim whose mother abused him to gain attention (she suffered from Munchausen's by Proxy). The trauma recounted within will no doubt be difficult reading, but this is one of the most important non-fiction books in the 21st century. Finally, we have empirical evidence that demolishes any last hope paternalistic despots have of defending their style of "parenting." Caretakers can say "suck it up" or "learn to love yourself" until they're blue in the face, but such attitudes only lead to misery and destructive self-replicating spirals.
Children need to be loved before they can learn to love themselves.