There are lots of child development books on the market. But how do readers especially parents find practical answers they can trust? A Good Start in Life provides just that.
We all want to do the best we can for our children. Nature has equipped us with an instinct to protect and nurture. Unfortunately, we have not been provided with universal rules of parenting. So we look to experts to fill that void. But there s just so much information out there and it often looks like half of it appears to be filled with contradictory advice while the other half is mired in scientific jargon that most parents have trouble deciphering. This is especially true of the data on the intricate workings of the developing brain. It s a daunting task to figure out just what a parent should do. The key is to listen carefully to what science is telling us. Finally, we have sensible guides to interpret the information in straightforward and practical ways.
Dr. Norbert Herschkowitz, a Swiss pediatrician and neuroscientist, and his wife, Elinore Chapman Herschkowitz, an American educator, have teamed up to write this warm, friendly book to guide parents through the formative years of their child s life. With a specific focus on the brain, we follow the path of early childhood development from gestation to birth to six years old. Each chapter deals with a particular phase of development.
We begin with Life in the Womb What Are You Doing In There? and Newborn Here I am! As parents add candles to the birthday cake, new chapters prepare them for what lies ahead. Best of all, each chapter is accompanied by a section called, To Think About These sections address practical topics like good night rituals, testing limits, coping with conflict, reading books together, the value of piano lessons, evaluating day care options, and encouraging why questions.
Although there are scores of books that deal with early childhood development, few if any so artfully combine solid, reliable science with logical, clear-cut information and advice. Parents need no longer worry about missing special windows of learning opportunity. They don t have to deal with lingering doubts about the right way or the best way to bring up their child. They won t be left with that niggling feeling that they just didn t do something essential. With science and the Herschkowitz s by their side, the process of bringing up baby just got a whole lot easier.
"...a fascinating look at what's going on in the developing brain from gestation to birth to six years old ... This easy-to-understand guide synthesizes the latest research, includes examples, and offers advice..."
-- Washington Parent, September 2002
"...accessible and very informative..."
-- Baby & You, November 2002
"...a very readable and yet comprehensive overview of the relationship between a child's behavior and how her brain functions and develops."
-- Welcome Home, January 2003
"The book's value arises from their ability to explain the various steps in child development with scientific information while showing the external effects of internal occurrences. Even though their explanations are rather technical, the science in them is remarkably accessible for lay readers."
-- Booklist, 2002
"Directing their text at the educated parents of newborns to six year olds, the authors devise fictitious children of differing temperaments, which allows readers to connect with the text. ... with a glossary of technical terms and a fairly current bibliography, this remains a solid entry in a crowded field."
-- Library Journal, 2002
"This is a seriously written book useful for parents as well as professionals involved with children."
-- Book News
"Unlike many books about children or parenting (which often feel like they could have more easily fit into a magazine article but instead were stretched to fill a book), what the authors Norbert Herschkowitz, M.D., a Swiss pediatrician and neuroscientist, and his wife, Elinore Chapman Herschkowitz, a U.S. educator, had to say about children (and parenting) actually required a whole book. While the authors do not directly give advice about how to handle infants and children, their clear explanations of the biological basis of children's behavior make it much easier to understand how to handle, say, a screaming toddler. ... This book makes sense. It integrates science with developmental milestones in a way that all can read and understand. Yet, it goes further: As a child psychiatrist in a clinical/academic setting constantly surrounded by children whose early development was affected by trauma or neglect, I found A Good Start in Life to be a wonderful refresher in normal child development."
-- Psychiatric Times, July 1, 2004
"...you'll find easy-to-digest information about the physical stages of early childhood, as well as straightforward suggestions that make parenting a little easier... both entertaining and educational parents will receive an excellent general overview of what they can expect from life with a little one."
"A brilliant integration of neuroscience with important milestones in child development. The authors provide a sensible guide to raising our children, leaving the reader with a clear sense of participation in the process."
-- Harry T. Chugani, M.D., Professor of Pediatric Neurology, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Wayne State University
"A treasure trove of information, insight, and guidance for parents that reflects the best that developmental science has to offer."
-- James Garbarino, Ph.D., author of Parents Under Siege: Why You Are the Solution, Not the Problem, In Your Child's Life and E. L. Vincent Professor of Human Development, Cornell University
"Authoritative, intriguing, practical, and wise. A Good Start in Life provides a good start in parenting with a solid basis for informed and effective decisions. Norbert and Elinore Herschkowitz have written a valuable resource that is must reading for all parents and grandparents."
-- J. Steven Reznick, Ph.D., Director, Program in Developmental Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"In this delightfully written book, we see how the biology and psychology of child development are inextricably intertwined. We also learn about personality and temperament, language and self-awareness. This is not merely a how-to book, but a book about understanding how a child truly grows."
-- Guy McKhann, M.D., Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
"Do the first three years of life represent a critical period for all aspects of development? Are we the product of our genes or of our environment? Does early exposure to Mozart make for smarter babies? The answers to these and other pressing questions are skillfully and elegantly answered in this wonderful book, which I enthusiastically recommend."
-- Charles A. Nelson, Ph.D., Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Child Psychology, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics, University of Minnesota