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Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain Paperback – 24 Jun 2004
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"Why Love Matters is hugely important. It should be mandatory reading for all parents, teachers and politicians." - The Guardian
"Sue Gerhardt's choice of title reflects the loving attention to detail that is the essence of this book... excellently researched and well-written book which deserves to be widely read by practitioners, researchers and parents." - Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
"Sue Gerhardt has written a vitally important book - a must-read for every parent, teacher, physician and politician." - Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence
"I would like to add to that positive view and suggest that this book be on every reading list you offer to new parents, politicians, clients, colleagues, family and friends." - Jeannie Wright, British Journal of Guidance and Counselling
"Gerhardt's book offers perhaps one of the most concise arguments for why love and affection in early life truly do matter. Written with clear and direct language, this text can serve as a general resource for mental health professionals and parents alike." - Rachel Altamirano, Clinical Social Work Journal
'Why Love Matters' explains why love is essential to brain development in the early years of life, particularly to the development of our social and emotional brain systems, and presents the startling discoveries that provide the answers to how our emotional lives work.
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It was so interesting reading about the way babies can be affected in utero and has made me think about staying stress free and happy while pregnant. I have a degree in psychology and found this straightforward to read but it did require concentration so may be a little hard to read if you have no psychological knowledge.
The book is very well referenced and puts forward a persuasive argument for the importance of mothers (or caregivers) love and attention in a babies early years.
I can imagine this book may be a very difficult read for some as society actively promotes returning to work after giving birth ASAP and I think people believe no harm is caused by putting their children in day care everyday, but unfortunately it would seem that is not true. The sad thing is in reality not many people are lucky enough to be able to spend the time with their children that they would like to because it is very difficult to live off a single income. Hopefully, this book will encourage more research in this area and eventually lead to changes in society to allow mothers to afford to spend more time with their babies.
It also fundamentally shifted my politics on who's responsible for young people. I started believing that those who opt for children should be responsible for their upbringing, i.e. costs and childcare. I was instantaneously persuaded instead that as a society at large we are responsible for ensuring the right conditions for parents to be able to nurture their children, if we want good citizens and a good society.
Do read her follow up A Selfish Society. A progressive society is reliant on thinkers such as Sue Gerhardt.
I would recommend thus to all new parents but also to anyone involved in policy making - it could save society a lot of money and give future generations a chance of greater emotional well -being that would last for centuries to come.
I can not recommend this book enough. It also made me understand the reasons behind some of my own behaviour and feelings.
The author does not claim that she has the answer to all questions but clearly gives enough proofs to demonstrate that her judgement is right (always supporting her ideas and discoveries to discoveries that other researchers made) and that LOVE DOES MATTER.
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