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on 28 August 2015
Like Steve I'm also a psychologist. I found this book a very honest and open account of the state of childcare in this country (and others). I really wished I had read this book with my first child - although I waited until my daughter was 12 months, I still felt she was too young to be in group care let alone with a stranger. Unfortunately I was in the situation where I had no family and nursery I felt had staff that could be held accountable, a safer place than perhaps a childminder where there were no cameras. The most distressing information is the raised cortisol levels in children under 3 who attend nursery and the damage this can have on a developing brain. This time around I'm not making the same mistake and have chosen love rather than money - they are only young once. Please read this book and if you can, avoid nursery care for your under 3.
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on 18 August 2017
Refreshing to read something willing to be truthful about the pros and cons of a nursery setting for under 3s. Feel a lot of what is out there is designed to avoid making working mums feel guilty (do what's right for YOU and that's what will be right for the baby- we'll not necessarily!) I am a working mum, and I do use childcare, but this book really made me look at minimising the hours I put my child in, and look at the type of childcare I used. A really useful read.
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on 2 September 2014
For a committed career woman this was an uncomfortable read but it had incredibly well put together and logical arguments. It is not, as others have said, trying to put women back in the 1950s, it is simply an analysis of the current evidence and research on the effects of child care on babies. It is for you to make the choice. It really is thought provoking- to the extent that I am now considering a career break until my child is 3.
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on 30 December 2014
Developing scientific and experience based evidence as to who's best to care for and nurture our little ones, from a well respected author. Thank you!
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on 22 March 2006
I have followed this debate for the last 10 years and as a mother of 4, am always interested in the latest. I have worked and put my child in a nursery and stayed at home, tha latter of which I feel most comfortable with but feel is devalued by society.
People that say the author (and anyone that shares a simelar line of thought) simply wants mothers to return to the kitchen are misinformed and failing to see the point. This book never suggests such a thing. I doubt such people have actually read the book. It is not so much about women working, but about the types of care for the child. In this case, concerns of research, child development, options, and the concerns backed up with research.
The book is very easy to read and outlines cleary the concerns with group nursery care, the research and what can be done. I highly recommnend it to anyone considering the dilema or to stay home parents who need to be reassured that their sacrifice will pay off despite what we often feel.
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on 7 August 2017
Patriarchal, or just sexist? I'd say its both - in whopping great dollops. DO NOT read this book if you think men & women are equal. DO NOT read this book if you think that parenting should be shared by both parents (Steve Biddulph does not). Steve Biddulph's book is full to the brim of 1950s sexist tropes about the stay-at-home mother and why it is entirely HER fault for going back to work that children are growing up damaged. Seriously. The ONLY place in this book that he even suggests for a moment that fathers have a role to play in parenting is a short 1-page bit saying that perhaps men could support the women a bit in their role as mothers. I'm not even kidding. This is the most regressing, biological-essentialist, damaging, backward and dog-whistle-basic book I have come across in this genre. It genuinely frightens me that it is so popular.
You know what to do, you don't need Steve "parenting guru" (his term) to tell you you're wrong. Lots of love, lots of attention, good food, stop looking at your bloody phone, try to limit nursery if you can, and SHARE THE CHILDCARE WITH YOUR PARTNER. And single mums - you're doing a great job. Keep it up.
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on 16 May 2006
Like the other reviewer I have never before been more compelled to post a comment on a book. If you are deciding whether or not to buy this book-BUY IT! It is a definite must read for any parent and actually for all politicians-these are big issues. I was always uncomfortable with the idea of babies or small children (or any children) in care for long hours away from someone who loves them but Steve Biddulph confirms and articulates all my innate feelings. As a recent first-time Mum this book helped me in my decision to put a career change on hold. The early years are so vital and you don't get them back. Enjoy the read!
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on 2 June 2013
I finished my maternity leave last September but chose to keep my DD at home with me, while working from home part time. My fellow NCT mates all have put their kids (born January 2012) to nursery from 2 to 5 days a week, and so have a lot of my other acquaintances. I will start by saying that some of them have been hospitalised with gastroenteritis, one has repeated ear infections... Believe it or not, they are trying to convince me that my DD needs it to "boost her immune system" I will not even bother commenting on that one.
I used to take my DD to an (overcrowded) toddler group but I've stopped after she (then just 1) got smacked on her head by a 3-yo whose mum (of 2) was busy with her baby and didn't even catch him. One of my friends managed to say "It will toughen her". Only to say I can easily believe that fights go on at nurseries and the staff can't possibly stop them all in time if it's 1 to 3, and now the Government wants to make it 1 to 5 or 1 to 6 (a joke). At age 1, kids cannot possibly memorise that it's rude to grab toys of someone's hands, hence it happens all the time in toddler groups, so it's bound to happen in nurseries. I'm sure it's bad habits that they keep.
Another friend said nursery was good for socialising even tho they don't properly socialise before they're at least 2, and I could go on. Only to say the idea that nursery is beneficial is still widespread.
Only one man whose 1st born went to nursery but whose 2nd did not, as mum quit her job, told me and my DH that he thought his 2nd child did much better without nursery. I wish more people felt that way.
SB says that reading the book, sadly, will not change the view of people who don't want to hear the message, but at least, it has very much comforted me in my view and I have more of a leg to stand on next time I'm told that my DD "needs" day care.
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on 4 October 2016
Dated and doesn't take into account the crucial factor of a mother's identity. Happy mother, happy baby.
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on 14 December 2008
I have read a number of parenting books since having my first child. I like the style of this author as he writes in a very accessible way. He presents the facts as he sees them and leaves you to decide how to use them. I found this book really interesting and it has helped me to confirm that we are giving the best possible start to our child. My husband and I share his care and both work part time but I had started to wonder whether he may be better going to nursery for some time in each week for social interaction. I realise now that at nearly one he is much, much better served by the arrangement we have. I really liked the sections on how a babies brain develops. I think that some of it might be quite an uncomfortable read for parents who work full time and have children in nurseries for long hours unless they are absolutely sure about the type and quality of care that they are recieving.
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