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The Continuum Concept (Arkana) Paperback – 23 Nov 1989

4.3 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (23 Nov. 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014019245X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140192452
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Jean Liedloff has written for the Sunday Times and was a founding member of the Ecologist magazine. She lectures and broadcasts around the world to students, doctors, parents, psychotherapists and the general public. She lives in London.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 26 April 1999
Format: Paperback
My husband and I read this book 9 years ago, before the birth of our son, and it spoke to our hearts. Employing the simple idea that a baby who starts life in the womb shouldn't be abruptly separated from the mother after birth, we maintained almost constant contact with him for the first few months. I was amazed at some of the resistance, resentment, even hostility, people sometimes demonstrated when informed that we slept with our newborn and never left him to cry. All their protests were based on nothing but groundless fears -- "You'll roll over and smother him! You'll 'spoil' him!" Etc. Well, he became naturally more and more independent and separate at his own pace, not an arbitrarily imposed one (that's the "continuum" part), and weaned himself from the breast at 11 months, rather than at a time decided by the "experts" or demands of employment. He is now 9 years old, and is a wonderful, happy, secure, well-adjusted boy, and I never cease getting compliments from everyone who meets him on how considerate, engaging, empathetic, kind, and well socialized he is. I credit Liedloff's book for all of this. If I could give one message to all would-be parents, I would say: Don't buy into the lie that material things are what's important to provide your child, and if you yourself are so wrapped up in financial gain that you won't temporarily sacrifice it to bond with him the first year of life, you're selling yourselves short. Invest the first 6 months to 1 year of his life raising him in your arms, and you will be giving him, and yourself, more than a billion dollars could ever buy.
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Format: Paperback
Having spent the past year battling with contemporary opinion that babies need "controlled crying" and will be spoiled by "too much attention", it was wonderful to read that the constant carrying and cuddling I gave to my son was in fact what all babies need to thrive. Liedloff's decriptions of the South American people she stays with are fascinating, and the attitude towards childcare refreshing. The only down side is that some of the language and attitudes are dated ("civilised" and "savages") and perhaps she takes the point a little too far into variations of adult behaviour. Having said that - this book should be read by anyone contemplating parenthood!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book a completely fascinating reminder of just how normal it is for babies to want to be in close contact with people at all times and that when people talk about these `modern ideas' of attachment actually it is the way we are encouraged to parent now that is modern and takes away our belief in our instincts.

I found this book at odds with other books which encourage mothers to give themselves fully to mothering as while it spoke about babies needs to constantly be with their mothers, it was clear that this did not mean other mothers give up doing anything else to achieve this. In fact the opposite was true the babies in this book spent almost 100% of their time in constant human contact while the mother went about her daily routine and contrary to what other books tell us babies learn through being surrounded by people and exposed to daily life rather than being stimulated by play mats and toys. I found the ideas in this book about how we learn to mother fascinating. It is no wonder that we are susceptible to the self-proclaimed baby experts when we are witness to so little mothering going on around us. While I found this book informative I'd be wary of who I encouraged to read it as I think for mothers who were swaying towards a more ridged approach it could be off putting and I would recommend an alternative to them like `BabyCalm'.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book when my children were five and two, I wish I had read it when pregnant for the first time. Then maybe I wouldn't have suffered with chronic PND for eighteen months after the birth of my first child. I would've listened to my instincts, believed in myself and in evolution and not listened to such tyrants as Gina Ford with their strategies and baby boot camp training. Anyone would think that babies were an alien race trying to ruin our lives instead of the pure and innocent vulnerable babies that they have been since time began. Thank you Ms Leidloff for changing my life for the better. READ THIS BOOK and bin all the parent centred rubbish that fills the shelves.
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Format: Paperback
This is the book I most wish I had read on leaving school; part adventure story, part philosophical treatise with many arresting, endearing and striking anecdotes it sets out with such burning clarity how our society creates the conditions for us to feel depressed, stressed and alienated. It is however, I feel, a very positive book and one I will come back to time and again; it explains how we can also achieve far greater happiness and harmony with others around us. It is a hymn to the quality of life,an illustration of the addictiveness and ultimate irrelevance of consumerism and an affirmation of the beauty and strength of the human spirit. Definately not to be confined to the shelves intended for prospective parents I would happliy give this book as a graduation present.
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