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I have partially read this book and i'm not sure how far I will get with it...I will try and persist and possibly update this review if warranted. I have no issue with the concept so far, it certainly isn't a ground-breaking concept, more one that I considered very well-known. Thats fair enough though as some people benefit from a reminder when all goes haywire and you find yourself reverting by default to techniques used on yourself as a child and to other children in the family, or due to advice from the older generation or those who don't agree with this concept. It's a fantastic idea to introduce this parenting style to any parent who wasn't already aware. My issue is with the patronising tone. So far, it consists of an awful lot of the author assuming the reader is lacking in the intelligence department, and needs things simplified, repeated, written in capital letters (i've even come across a couple of emojis used in the text) being told 'not to worry' as everything will be simplified. When you don't require simplification, this makes for an irritating read. The author does include some information at the back regarding studies conducted, further reading etc but that doesn't remove the frustration for me as a reader...you don't have to be a genius to be able to understand an explanation of brain anatomy and function. And if the author didn't want to include too much scientific 'jargon' then thats fine...but maybe a bit less of the 'don't worry, I know this is difficult for you to understand, i've dumbed it down for you and hopefully this will make for easy reading' kind of thing (not quite a direct quote, but not far off). I see there is some mention of single parenting...I do hate to read single parent advice from a person who is not a single parent, so I hope that isn't approached with more painfully patronizing phrasing. Not for me.
As a parent of 3 teenagers, I’ve read my fair share of how to parenting books. This is the one I wish I’d had access to when my kids were really playing up and testing my patience when they were tots. The author uses her in-depth understanding of the science of WHY kids behave the way they do to help parents understand how THEY should behave for their kids. Yet she doesn’t blind you with science but tells the story and passes on the tools in an engaging, effective, practical and informed way. I’d really recommend for parents of kids of any age!
This book was going to be a gift for my son and his wife but after reading the first two chapters I'm not prepared to insult their intelligence by giving it to them. As a parent, grandparent and former childcare professional I found the tone of writing to be particularly patronising - sorry Kate, you are a lovely lady but there's nothing groundbreaking here - I'm afraid it's a 'miss' from me.
Love the introduction chapter, I can relate to kate. I do feel like this book is the way forward for our power struggles with our toddler. This is the way we parent but haven't found advice like this before. It's very easy to read. Great book! Hope there will be more books by Kate for older children and children with special needs.
I have never read a parenting book , preferring to let my children grow and develop without a book telling me what they should be doing at different ages. I have a keen interest in the early years having followed the work of the duchess of Cambridge in the area. This book is simply a must read for parenting now BUT also to have an impact in society in the future. What happens in our children's lives from 0-5 years impacts how they cope as adults. The book is filled with simple easy to follow techniques to create emotionally balanced children and indeed happier parents. You will find yourself thinking wow I wish had known this or that but also comforted in knowing you have done alot of wonderful things mentioned in the book already. The book explains why these things are important. It is not at all preachy or full of medical jargon. Its easy to follow and full of real life anecdotes. I bought it on my kindle but also ordered a hard copy so I could underline and high light parts that really resonated with me
Do yourself, your children and society a favour and buy this book.
I have a three year old so I picked this up in a daily deal for 99p, which was good, because if I had paid full price I wouldn't have been happy. First off this isn't a BAD book, but it will be polarising for some parents - it is very fluffy and focused on child led parenting. There are some nuggets of wisdom in the book, but the biggest issue is that the book becomes repetitive very quickly and feels padded because of this.
The author Kate reduces the complexity of brain chemistry and development to a parable about three animals in a tree - the wise owl (frontal cortex), the fearful lizard (brain stem) and the reactionary baboon (limbic system) all sitting in the baboa tree (which signifies our brain structure). It's a decent enough idea to simplify the science, and to make it relatable, particularly if you wanted to explain it to your child, but oh my days she is SO PROUD of this analogy that she precedes to beat the metaphor into the ground over the next interminable 200 pages.
Although the book blurb touts that this is all backed up with scientific evidence, these extracts are frustratingly limited to one paragraph text boxes sprinkled through vomit inducing twee inducements to calm your child's scawy lizard, soothe their angry baboon etc...
The author's voice is intrusive and cloying enough that it was a slog to get through - I found myself wishing that her no-nonsense green beret ex-marine husband had written the book instead as his interjections (for a dad's perspective) were much easier to read, aside from his gushing about his marvelous, clever wife - are you okay Mike? Blink twice for yes.
I'm about to save you the book price here - the majority of tips are common sense - listen to your child, teach your child about emotions and guide them how to feel and express them, be present when with them (not on your screen - I am guilty of this one), and try to see things from their perspective - because all manner of tantrums will stem from (to the child) a valid reason. The author's suggested interventions will not be achievable for everyone who doesn't live in a fluffy, Waitrose wonderland.
One example of 'how to intervene' involved a scenario of running late to school, because the child is delaying the walk by climbing along a wall - rather than giving into 'old school' parenting and telling them to get down and walk more quickly, because you will all be late, apparently you should just let them carry on - encouraging them along the way so they feel attached to you, to hell with whether your boss might fire you for being late, because you should have been prescient enough to factor in more walking time!!
I was also not at all surprised to find that the author spent the first three days of her eldest child's transition to nursery in the cloakroom, in case her daughter needed her! The biggest flaw in the book is that it doesn't seem to grasp that in the really, real world you need to strike a balance between old school authoritative parenting (without being abusive) and new school fluffy talk out our feelings.
I think as well-intentioned as many of the book's tips are that if you were to follow them to the letter as a parent, you would end up with slightly entitled little people who have no resilience or preparation for an outside world. The author doesn't seem to recognise that in the outside world teachers, other adults or children are not going to be prepared to launch into a ten minute discussion of 'how that makes you feel' over every decision.
An absolutely fantastic and insightful book into the growing brains of young people. It's a fantastic book for parents, carers and even professionals. It is really helping me improve my knowledge of the brain functions of little minds!