What do babies and young children really need? This impassioned dialogue cuts through all the theories, platitudes, and controversies that surround parenting advice to define what every child must have in the first years of life. The authors, both famed advocates for children, lay out the seven irreducible needs of any child, in any society, and confront such thorny questions as: How much time do children need one-on-one with a parent? What is the effect of shifting caregivers, of custody arrangements? Why are we knowingly letting children fail in school? Nothing is off limits, even such an issue as whether every child needs or deserves to be a wanted child. This short, hard-hitting book, the fruit of decades of experience and caring, sounds a wake-up call for parents, teachers, judges, social workers, policy makers-anyone who cares about the welfare of children.
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Parents can sometimes feel like ships being tossed in the storm--trying to keep their households afloat amidst escalating child-care and health-care costs, declining funding for public schools, and workplaces that do not favor working families. The Irreducible Needs of Children reads like a social compass, or better yet, a family's true north. T. Berry Brazelton, one of the world's most respected pediatricians, joins with one of the most respected child psychiatrists, Stanley Greenspan, to offer parents, as well as caregivers, teachers, policymakers, and even custody-hearing judges clear-cut guidelines for rearing healthy, well-nurtured children.
Each chapter speaks to the fundamental priorities, such as "The Need for Ongoing, Nurturing Relationships" or "The Need for Limit Setting, Structure, and Expectations." In every chapter the two doctors offer a lively dialog as they boldly assert their child-rearing opinions based on solid research and their collective years of wisdom. They then lead into a list of joint recommendations. No topic is too controversial or specific for these hard-core child advocates, including how many hours a baby or toddler should be in child care per week (ideally less than 30), the importance of one-on-one time, setting up child-oriented custody arrangements, and how much homework or television a child should have each day. Although you may not agree with every recommendation, this makes an excellent navigational tool for parents and anyone else who controls the course of children's destinies. --Gail HudsonAbout the Author:
T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., founder of the Child Development Unit at Children's Hospital Boston, is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Pediatrics and Human Development at Brown University. He is a famed advocate for children, and his many other internationally acclaimed books for parents include To Listen to a Child, Infants and Mothers , and, with Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D., The Irreducible Needs of Children . Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D., author of the widely used and praised books The Challenging Child and (with Serena Wieder, Ph.D.) Engaging Autism , is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at George Washington University Medical School and lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
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