A very holistic, though perhaps what might be considered entry level overview of child developmental psychology, with a very strong leaning toward the behavioural approach. Christine clearly knows her stuff, both as a parent and an obvious academic in the subject – added to that, she is a tremendous writer, personable, smart and articulate. The book itself is nothing groundbreaking, but a great concise reference guide covering in every key area the best way to bring up your child for their most balanced and healthy development. Most readers will not need to recap everything in here, but there is indeed something which every parent will, at some point. For those who need the book in its entirety, well then they really need it, and I recommend they buy it immediately.
For the most part, it is all good common sense, which I think we have learnt in society over the most recent three or four generations, but Christine has a very endearing and indeed calming method of putting it all into words which are clear, decisive and very easy to interpret; there is no jargon here, and no need to show off the professional credentials she clearly has. Much of the advice is anecdotal from personal experience, and that is great. There is some tough love in there, but the focus is very much on positive reinforcement, and the importance of avoiding negative reinforcement. Perhaps for the most part is idealistic and even virtuous at times, but that’s okay; the book is about love, and more specifically giving your child the right amount of it – as well as attention, guidance and encouragement – at the right time. If you’re not sure when the right time comes, don’t worry, because that is all in here.
I read the book from cover to cover in a single sitting, but I don’t recommend that you do the same. It may be simplistic for expectant parents to assume they can read the entire book then just be ready to go; it is not a one-size-fits-all application – just as parenthood itself isn’t. There will be things in here which don’t apply to you, or you may already be beyond, but I am sure that you will find the specific area of advice you want referenced somewhere in this book. To that end, whilst the book is very clearly separated into specific chapters based on areas of development which are pretty self-explanatory, some of them might feel a little long and wordy, and I would have personally liked to see it broken up further still into easy grab, thumb-flicking contents; in this respect, I would suggest subheadings broken down to an even further level, or even an index.
The psychology influence is apparent throughout this book, and there are some good references, but personally I would have liked to see more. Renowned psychologists like Maslow, etc. are only very briefly mentioned, and make up only a tiny fraction of this book’s content. I think a little detail about more of the most famous relevant studies might be nice; I know this would be nothing new in terms of literature, but perhaps it would validate much more explicitly the guidance shared in the book.
An interesting book, and a nice one for parents to pick up and refer to. Concise, informative and educational – exactly as it sets out to be.
In : Book Reviews
Tags: christine-m-pearce child-development family reference non-fiction psychology lifestyle