Letter to A Beginner Parent
Original title: Lettre à un jeune parent
France’s best-loved pediatrician advises beginner parents on doing the best for their children –and themselves.
SCIENCE HAS CHANGED HOW WE LOOK AT CHILDREN
Neuroscience research has radically changed how we look at children and their needs in the last decade. We now know, for instance, that infants should never be left to cry. We also know that toddlers are not tiny tyrants, but developing personalities that need to be understood. By listening to them empathetically, we develop our own capacity for empathy in turn.
THE VITAL ROLE OF PARENTS
The relationships we nurture with our babies are crucial to their brain development, particularly in the earliest years of life. The way we love them and respond to their needs literally shapes their brains. If children’s brains are overly affected by stress, they become more vulnerable to a whole host of difficulties later in life, from depression and anti-social behavior to addiction and anorexia.
A MESSAGE OF KINDNESS AND EMPATHY
When emotional storms are raging, it is counterproductive and even harmful to tell a child off or call them a bad boy or girl. Physical and verbal humiliation damages their brains. Only kindness lets their cerebral structures mature fully—a process completed at the age of twenty-five—and helps the child grow into a balanced, confident adult.
A SCHOLARLY YET ACCESSIBLE APPROACH
Catherine Gueguen’s previous works were rigorous, demanding works of scientific scholarship. In this book, she takes a more accessible, reassuring, helpful approach, as if her readers were nervous new parents in her surgery. She presents the most recent research in neuroscience, developmental psychology, and neurobiology in simple layman’s terms to guide readers in their interactions with their children.
- Close to 9000 copies sold