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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 25 November 2012
This is a really well organised and well written book which shows how the most up do date knowledge about the brain backs up "common sense" and loving parenting. Really usefulfor parents, foster parents, socialworkers, early years practitioners and teachers,
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on 19 December 2012
A delightfully well written account of how we can refocus the meaning of our interactions with children. Given that many of us work with and claim children who have not had the best early life experiences the book supports the reader to reconsider how a child arrived at the point we find them and how we can support and guide towards more positive patterns of behaviour.

I was lucky enought to hear both Authors speak of their research through a delightful Fostering Agency named Fosterplus who had them guest at a conference. Should you have the opportunity to do likewise with whatever Agecny/Authority I wholly recommend it.
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Extremely comprehensive scientific account of how the brain creates attachment - resonance, one-ness, engagement, affectionate bonding etc – between parents and children. But - and for me it is a killer “but” – it is desperately short on any meaningful strategies for dealing with difficulties.

For some it may be enough – even helpful or healing – to the have the problem described in ways that are refreshingly rooted in science. But for me it was very disappointing to get though some pretty dense neurobiologically based chapters – only to find the advice on effecting change – i.e. the methods and processes to become the BRAIN BASED PARENT of the title – were scant to absent.

What little there is, is aimed at psychotherapists and is steeped in the vague, hand-wafty psychobabble of the worst sort. “ Remember to tread carefully”. “Allow the parent all the time it takes to express their own shame at perceived parental failures.”

Really nothing there to speak of that couldn’t be summed up with, “ work with kindness, calm and compassion as you do with all your clients.”

The ultimate reason the book drops two stars is because a book that describes itself as Brain Based Parenting – should give some ideas how, indeed, to effectively become one, not merely all the ways in which it can go awry.

Should be titled: What Happens in the Brain During Attachment. And subtitled: a neurobiological description of how things go wrong.

This book does not, nor even attempt, to be any kind of guide to Brain Based Parenting. Nor would it, mostly, help those parents who are encountering difficulties attaching (usually from their own childhood deficiencies). Nor would it give most psychotherapists many real processes or techniques for intervening when they have clients who are more troubled in their attachment to their children.

Altogether a wasted opportunity. Because a book of the sort this is not, is sorely needed.
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on 28 May 2013
This is an excellent book for both professionals and parents. After reading my copy I immediately bought another copy and gave it to a mother I am working with. It links neuroscience and attachment focused work in a very helpful way.
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on 14 April 2014
I'm currently working with vulnerable parents who have suffered considerably at the hands of there family. This book was recommended and is really enlightening as to capacity and why?? A must read and great for reference
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on 3 July 2015
This book helps any professional in understanding the links to brain development and the impact for children who do not have the opportunity to develop within the nurturing relationship. Enables opportunity to reflect and support interventions when working with parents and children
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on 18 February 2015
I really liked this book especially the authors explanation of 'blocked care'

"Stressed-out adults are parenting in survival mode, using primarily the lower, more primitive brain systems, which automatically come into play during day-to-day existence. Such parents need to calm the overreactive limbic and stress-response systems and tame the amygdala before they can awaken the prefrontal cortex. In short, we must help them dial down their defensive reaction systems before they can access the higher brain systems needed for self-reflection, emotional regulation, and empathy".

However I disagreed that care gets switched off and work can be done to to switch it back on again. Why? because a significant proportion of the population did/do not have an authentic connection with their parents you can't switch something back on if it was never there in the first place.If the mother did not meet the striving for connection when her child was a baby the baby stops seeking connection and his/her real self withdraws and dies the real self pathway is not rewarded with pleasure therefore it is blocked forever and cannot be resurrected.Desperate to survive in this truly tragic state of affairs most human beings adopt primitive coping mechanisms - most adults only have a fantasy bond pseudo connection with their parents that they formed in order to compensate for their inadequate nurturing environment. The imaginary connection offered a sense of safety but only partially met their psychological emotional needs. This fantasy persists into their adult life and when they become parents life becomes very problematic because suddenly they are presented with a small human being that needs and demands authentic 'real' connection panic sets in due to memories of neglect and deprivation surfacing these uncomfortable distressing feelings persist until they have successfully conditioned their son/daughter into using the same defense mechanisms they used to cope with their under developed parents,the child is taught to become disconnected developing a fantasy bond of their own and becoming a pretend person (false self) just like them.

Sorry to say these parents can't be helped because they are too damaged the only way they are okay with any opinion/diagnosis is if it identifies a problem that the child has that has 'nothing' whatsoever to do with them and is totally self manifested, they want to carry zero blame.In doing this they are seeking nurturing in the form of consolation and comfort for having a troubled child,if any advice (professional or otherwise) is given on what to do so that the child is not troubled they will immediately become defensive & enraged because it is too much change for them to be comfortable with.
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on 1 August 2014
What a brilliant way of thinking about parenting. Has been useful on so many levels! I would really recommend this book to anyone even vaguely interested in children and relationships. For those of us who aren't too keen on the academic and heady details - this is great, accessible and has lovely diagrams to support understanding.
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on 21 January 2014
Super ideas but just the really practical stuff ones forgets is actually most important !
Dan Hughes is a Master of Parenting and happiness for a whole family :)
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on 25 July 2015
Really interesting insight into the developing brain and importance of good parenting. Not quite finished the book but so far have enjoyed it and learnt lots.
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