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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not scaremongering - a balanced, factual and comes-with-solutions perspective on modern day child rearing, 19 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Detoxing Childhood: What Parents Need to Know to Raise Happy, Successful Children: What Parents Need to Know to Raise Bright, Balanced Children (Paperback)
I read Sue Palmer's book with great interest. Being perplexed by my 5 year old nephew's view of the world and having my own concerns about how the vast changes in technology are affecting the world we live in this book really helped me to understand that it wasn't a personal issue but a large scale social problem.

The book is broken down into easy to digest sections. She provides guidance by age group also. Some people may say it's common sense, yet, as her face to face meetings reinforce, it is hard for parents to strike a balance between using technology and being consumed by it.

The basic premise is a need to go back to the more traditional family life and move away from the divisions caused my modern communications and entertainment (email, im, video games, tv) etc. She highlights a need to focus more on what's important and less on the consumerism that has gripped us all. Her tone is more pleading than patronising and she helps justify why parents may have fallen into various traps. Most importantly is her proposed solution and I love the idea of moving from parent competitiveness to parent collaboration. It would be amazing if even small changes could happen as a result of this.

I haven't read her more academic title Toxic Childhood and I'm glad that she has produced a more digestible, readable version for parents. It proves that she has spent the time reviewing and researching her thesis and not simply standing on a soapbox with no grounding for her argument.

If I was to find fault in her approach, when I read the section on the rise of learning difficulties in children and her attributing them to the growth in children watching too much tv, I did raise an eyebrow. Nobody has a definitive answer on why autism, dyslexia or ADHD exist and numerous factors are likely to be at play. This shouldn't detract from the very important message of the book. For our young people to grow up, confident, happy and to thrive they need to feel secure, independent, experience 'real life' activities and to be able to work alongside each other to create a society that includes everyone.

Finally, the section on marketing was shocking. The techniques used to influence young children to ensure they buy x product or support y brand are highly unethical. Her call to ban advertising to under 12's seems entirely just.

It's a wake up call to parents but if headed could make all the diffence to not only your child but the community that they live in too.
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