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on 14 July 2006
In a world where one is bombarded by conflicting advice about what is best for my child (sleep routines, behaviour, tantrums, etc.), this book is like a breath of fresh air. Unlike those thousands of opinion based parenting books, which have no scientific evidence to corroborate those opinions, The Science of Parenting is packed with useful advice, backed up with literally hundreds of scientific studies.

The author conveys what are quite complex scientific concepts in easy to understand language, diagrams and she uses examples of behaviour that I have seen in my own child.

It's so refreshing to see something solid and different from the same old baby books, and it's a fascinating read!
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on 25 January 2009
What's the difference between a distressed fit of crying and a controlling 'little Nero' tantrum? How does letting a very young baby cry itself to sleep release harmful body chemicals and discourage trust? How do loving, nurturing behaviours coupled with firm boundaries make for a harmonious relationship with your child?

These and many other questions answered.

There are so many old wives' tales around when it comes to raising your baby and child that this book, by a responsible and caring child psychologist, helps you work out sensible solutions. Are doctors and health visitors always right when giving advice on the emotional health of your baby or does an expert in attachment perhaps have better answers? This book helps you decide and become an empowered parent. It puts the child centre stage because the early experiences of a baby set patterns for life. At the same time, it honours the needs of mothers, who need love, support and community. I hope this is the way parenting will progress in future years.
Please read this book if you are pregnant or a new mother... it's very helpful...
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on 26 June 2011
Most of this book is excellent and I would recommend it very highly but for one very important chapter: All about discipline.

The author simply has no idea of the difference between punishments and consequences - and it is a crucial difference that parents must understand if they are to discipline with love and kindness.

A consequence is something that repairs damage or makes restitution in some way. A punishment, on the other hand, extracts retribution.

Assume that your child writes on the wall. A consequence of this would be that she has to clean it up. An alternative consequence may be that she has to sit in a chair in silence while watching an obviously irritated Dad clean it up. A punishment would be something like not allowing her to watch a TV program or something else completely unrelated to the "crime."

The crucial difference is that children will accept and learn from consequences but will inevitably resent punishments.

(And it should be noted that "Time Out" is a punishment. You are thinking that your child in "Time Out" is considering the error of her ways. She is, in fact, seething inside at the injustice you have heaped upon her. She may come out of "Time Out" a bit calmer, but I promise you that she is no wiser.)

Apart from this, the book is very good and makes clear explanations of the neuroscience behind children's development and how best to help your children grow up into happy and healthy individuals.
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on 23 September 2013
As a third-time parent I happened upon this book 'The Science of Parenting.'
I found it great in helping me understand the development of the human brain
and the importance of early experiences for your child's brain development.
Having never let our children' cry it out' we were delighted to learn that science backed us up.
There's lots to learn here eg. a tiny infant does not have the brain sophistication to
manipulate us ie. become so called'spoilt.' There's also lots to learn here about toddlers and
young children's behaviour too. Great buy.
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on 16 September 2014
This book is a 'must read' for everybody who cares for children, be they parents, carers, child care workers or any others. It gives an excellent insight into the brain development of children and why they behave the way they do, especially when they are told 'no'!
It is also an easy read with lots of examples and pictures so you don't need a degree to understand the concepts.
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on 8 June 2006
At last, an intelligent book about parenting and childhood that isn't written by a drivelling idiot or a fascist who hates children. This book is a blueprint for better understanding what is happening within your child's brain and for helping them to grow into a confident adult. Instead of promising 'control' over your child it aids understanding and helps a parent to see how they can support their child in their emotional development. The explanations are simple without being patronising and give a fascinating insight into human biology blowing apart many of the myths put out there by baby trainers and the like. I love this book and it is the first of its kind I do not want to consign to the bin! If you actually like your child and want to think for yourself rather than following someone elses receipe for living then this is the book for you.
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on 16 January 2008
What Every Parent Needs to Know: The Incredible Effects of Love, Nurture and Play on Your Child's Development (Paperback

These two books are TOTALLY IDENTICAL despite having different titles, straplines and Amazon recommending you buy the two togeter
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on 14 June 2006
This book is fantastic- Really practical and interesting and seems well backed up by research. I finished it within 48 hours as I couldn't put it down, and am about to buy it for a number of friends and family. Instinct isn't all you need to be an excellent parent and really good advice helps iron out any faulty thinking you may have picked up. I am intending to make some adjustments straight away. The author makes sense.
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on 5 September 2006
Fantastic! I just wish I had discovered this book before now.

A common sense guide to compassionate parenting. The scientific aspects of the book are clearly and simply explained without being patronising. As a mother of four children ranging from 20 years to 11 months, I felt that it gave me 'permission' to follow my instincts and love and cherish my children for being exactly who they are in the here and now.

Thank you so much Ms. Sunderland!
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on 16 June 2011
The advice in this book is really important. It is empowering & reminds parents of the the importance of following their own instincts. For example, it currently seems the norm for controlled crying to be recommended by Health Visitors & touted as the quick fix & answer for sleep problems etc. but do you know why it is so upsetting to hear a baby cry? It's because babies shouldn't be left to cry - they should be loved & comforted & held. I learned a lot from this book, particularly that a quiet child is not necessarily a happy child. A child left alone to cry simply learns that no-one answers their cries, so they give up trying to communicate their needs & are left silently distressed, abandoned & powerless. Children can't comfort themselves they need a loving parent to calm their fears & help them relax & feel loved & comforted, so themselves learning to trust & feel secure. A toddler misbehaving or having a tantrum doesn't need 'time out', they need more 'time in', they need comforting & calming to deal with their big uncontrollable emotions. A clingy child doesn't need an enforced separation - they need to be allowed to cling before they confidently & tentatively explore further & further on their own, securely knowing that a loving parent is still there whenever they feel the need to 'touch base'. There is lots of interesting 'scientific' information in this book - the science & brain chemistry of emotions & feelings & how children develop to become confident adults. This book is a useful reference for parents with babies & children of all ages.
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