Books for Parents
Reviews of useful books for busy parents,
recognizing the importance of parent education.
Isn't it odd that people are expected to train for just about any mundane job, but parenting is considered so easy or intuitive that parent education is a non-existent field? The statistics on child safety indicate the contrary: Parent education is sorely needed because the vast majority of child deaths and serious injuries are due to parental incompetence, i.e. physical abuse and neglect covered up as "accidents."
Perhaps it's no coincidence that public attention is focused on relatively rare "stranger danger," as if indecent exposure and inappropriate touch are the worst tragedies imaginable in childhood. Such hysteria is a great way to excuse parental incompetence. The millions of cigarette-puffing adults who drive while sleep-deprived should be ashamed of their own disregard for children's safety instead of hunting for relatively rare sexual predators.
Parents as Heroes
Western culture has become so materialistic, with people worshiping objects made of carbon fiber and titanium (Wow!) Objects are so easy to use, abuse, and dispose of, why risk so much heartache on something so fragile and complicated as a child? Who wants a really demanding challenge that tests our character and leaves us vulnerable to failure? The obvious answer is: parents, those who embrace such a difficult challenge and fight to win, despite all odds. Although some people are parents by accident or for ulterior motives, people who choose to become parents because they love children are the most noble heroes in society.
This site reviews books to improve the quality of parenting, with the rational priority of promoting children's physical health and safety. Let's attack the myth that hysteria over child nudity and "concern" over sexuality education is a substitute for competent parenting. Reading the reviews here is only the beginning. If you want to be a knowledgeable parent you need to actually read the books too!
Why Love Matters by Sue Gerhardt
In the ancient world people talked to gods and other spirits, hoping they would tell us what to do. Right up until the Middle Ages priests studied the ancient scriptures and made laws on the basis of the church's interpretation of the Divine Will. Only in recent centuries have scientists begun to focus on measurable facts we can see and verify with our own eyes. The complexity of perceived experience has come under closer and closer scrutiny, as people realize that the world around us is constantly changing. What we see is influenced by our very observation of it, and we in turn are influenced by the feedback we receive from what we observe.
This book explains that modern man has partly liberated himself from primitive, magical thinking, but emotion still underlies and guides rationality. New imaging technology reveals how the brain reacts to stimuli, and that babies from dysfunctional families are more reactive to stress than babies who are well-cared for. Overly reactive responses to stress become habitual and continue into adulthood. As more and more parents relegate their babies to child care workers, parents are becoming increasingly defensive about how carefully (or carelessly) a baby may be treated. It's politically correct to speak of "problem babies" rather than "problem parents." As one confused mother put it: caring for her daughter is like being responsible for the weather. Continued
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