Starred Review. Like countless other parents, Canadian doctors Neufeld and Maté woke up one day to find that their children had become secretive and unreachable. Pining for time with friends, they recoiled or grew hostile around adults. Why? The problem, Neufeld and co-writer Maté suggest, lies in a long-established, though questionable, belief that the earliest possible mastery of the rules of social acceptance leads to success. In a society that values its economy over culture, the book states, the building of strong adult/child attachments gets lost in the shuffle. Multiple play dates, day care, preschool and after school activities groom children to transfer their attachment needs from adults to their peers. They become what the authors call "peer oriented." The result is that they squelch their individuality, curiosity and intelligence to become part of a group whose members attend school less to learn than to socialize. And these same children are bullying, shunning and murdering each other, as well as committing suicide, at increasing rates. The authors' meticulous exploration of the problem can be profoundly troubling. However, their candidness and exposition lead to numerous solutions for reestablishing a caring adult hierarchy. Beautifully written, this terrific, poignant book is already a bestseller in Canada.
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"Hold on to Your Kids
blows in from Canada like a Blue Northern, bringing us genuinely new ideas and fresh perspectives on parenting. The authors integrate psychology, anthropology, neurology and their own personal and professional experiences as they examine the 'context' of parenting today. This is a worthy book with practical implications for mom and dad."
—Dr. Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia
and The Shelter of Each Other
"Hold on to Your Kids
is visionary book that goes beyond the usual explanations to illuminate a crisis of unrecognized proportions. The authors show us how we are losing contact with our children and how this loss undermines their development and threatens the very fabric of sociey. Most importantly they offer, through concrete examples and clear suggestions, practical help for parents to fulfill their instinctual roles. A brilliant and well written book, one to be taken seriously, very seriously."
—Peter A. Levine Ph.D., International teacher and author of the best selling books: Waking the Tiger, Healing Trauma
and It Won’t Hurt Forever, Guiding Your Child through Trauma
"The thoughts and perspectives presented by the authors are informative — even inspirational — for those who choose to dedicate their lives and energy to students."
—Bulletin of the National Association of Secondary School Principals
"With original insights on parent-child attachments and how parents can restore them, this is a book for revitalizing families and rekindling the song in their children’s hearts."
—Raffi, children’s troubadour, founder of Child Honoring Society Institute
"With simple ideas and steps, this book is directed not only to parents, but to all those — educators, social workers, counselors — whose lives and work bring them into contact with children."
—Quill & Quire
"Though this is Neufeld's personal theory, Maté (Scattered Minds, When the Body Says No
) has expressed his colleague's ideas in precise and hard-hitting prose that makes complex ideas accessible without dumbing them down. The result is a book that grabs hard, with the potential to hit many parents where they live."
—The Edmonton Journal
"[M]ay serve as a loud wake-up call for mothers and fathers….this one offers what many of the others do not — that rare commodity known as common sense."
—Winnipeg Free Press
"With the benefit of 30 years of research and experience, Neufeld has crafted a coherent, compelling theory of child development that will cause an immediate frisson of recognition and acceptance in its readers. His approach has the power to change, if not save, the lives of our children."
"The authors present doable strategies to help parents help their kids. If their advice is taken to heart, there’s hope there will be more warmth and security all round."
—The Georgia StraightPraise for Scattered Minds by Gabor Maté, M.D.
"Rare and refreshing. . . . Here you will find family stories, an accessible description of brain development and sound information. You will also find hope."
—The Globe and Mail
"An utterly sensible and deeply moving book written for a general audience."
—The Vancouver SunFrom the Hardcover edition.