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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on February 12, 2004
This book contains a lot of practical advice on how to foster desirable, pleasant behaviors and attitudes in children, which naturally contribute to their success in life. However, it has several fundamental flaws in its execution. The first and biggest is that, as many other reviewers have noted, the entire book is little more than a propaganda piece for attachment parenting. Because of this, there is never a moment in the book where he addresses ANY of the challenges his theories have faced. It is also filled with endless gross generalizations such as "The connected child will do what's right because doing what's wrong makes him FEEL wrong." ["Connected child" is his term for children who are raised according to his dictates. If you disagree with any of his tactics, you're in danger of raising a "disconnected" i.e. sociopathic failure of a child.) And "Children who are on the receiving end of sensitive parenting become sensitive themselves." Ad nauseum. Literally.
The book is filled with obsequious overgeneralizations. There are dozens of little "interviews" from, I guess we're supposed to believe, patients (although the speakers are NEVER identified, making it very confusing when the sidebar refer to "our son Matthew" while knowing Dr. Sears has a son Matthew too). These "interviews" produce hysterically unbelievable and melodramatic accounts of miraculously empathic (and boy howdy, ARTICULATE!) 2 year olds, shrewd psychological insight imparted by kindergarteners, etc. Oh, and of course, the book is riddled with obliquely validating comments such as "Research has shown," yet the book fails to have a bibliography or reference section. One eventually has to question why the book ends up seeming more like a sales pitch for attachment parenting than any real compilation of advice.
As the parent of a 6yo child with high-functioning autism who DID/does practice many of the things the Sears deem as "attachment parenting" to the letter, I can tell you that while I don't disagree that his child-sensitive approach to parenting does engender trust and emotional intimacy between parent and child, it is in NO way a blueprint for raising "successful" children, nor is it a recipe for producing any kinds of desirable traits in your children. There is little room for variables in Dr. Sears' tract, if any. I don't think following these practices would hurt any child, but I think that the claims Dr. Sears makes are, at best, spurious, and should be questioned and challenged a lot more than they currently are.
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on March 2, 2013
If you purchase this book before baby arrives, great, it could be useful if you agree with attachment patenting. I purchased this book based on the word 'child' and not 'baby' in the title, thinking it would focus on tips for toddlers, preschoolers and above. Granted, there are some tips, but every single chapter starts out with how important attachment parenting during the first year is for raising a moral child, responsible child, self-confident child and on and on and on. For those who didn't do attachment parenting I could see how this book would make you feel like there is no hope for your child.
Really, it should be titled 'The Successful Child: The Importance of Attachment Parenting in the First Year'.
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on December 1, 2002
The first Dr. Sears book I read was "The Baby Book", which I found helpful and somewhat insightful as many other parents that are gentle in raising their children. But I became very turned off by this book and the entire Dr. Sears following that has thousands of parents looking to him as the guru of child care. This book, like all the others in the "Sears library" of books is a carbon copy of his other books and reiterates the same beliefs. He uses this book as a medium to promote his attachment parenting beliefs and uses the title "the successful child" to make parents believe that his parenting beliefs are the rule rather than the exception. Yes, I know that Dr. Sears has eight kids and is a well renowned pediatrician, but that doesn't make him the authority on parenting and child development and other issues that he has written books on including family nutrition, pregnancy, and childbirth, and to suggest so would make his books utterly self-congratulatory other than proven techniques that work across the board. I hope the parents of his patients don't feel that they have to conform to his beliefs in terms of how they choose to raise their children. It is good to take what is useful to you as a parent from various sources such as this book; but I refuse to see Dr. Sears as an authority on my child's development and on my role as a parent just because he has written dozens of books that are regurgitations of each other. As a parent, you must learn to think for yourself as well as seek out information from other sources.
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