32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Restoring Natural Parenting
Several years ago, my wife and I attended a seminar by Vancouver psychologist, Dr. Gordon Neufeld. It was one of those rare educational experiences that really altered the way we related to our children. The subject of that talk, "Hold on to Your Kids", is now expanded in this wonderful new book, co-authored with Vancouver MD, Gabor Maté.
The first two-thirds...
Published on Feb 8 2004 by Paul Miniato
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great message, BUT....
I purchased this book after attending a 2 hour lecture by Mr. Neufeld which was a huge eye opener and was profound enough to change how I parent.This book has an impactful message, focusing on cultivating a connected relationship with your child and insight into the negative impact that occurs when children become more connected to their peers than their parents...
Published on April 16 2007 by Maverick MOM
Most Helpful First | Newest First
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Restoring Natural Parenting,
The first two-thirds deal with a cultural malaise that the authors claim is sweeping North America, making both parenting and teaching more challenging. With a wealth of both cited research and personal stories, the authors tie together issues such as bullying, early promiscuity, general aimlessness, learning difficulties, and the "flatlining of culture".
Despite the usual association with peer concerns, this is not just a book for parents of teenagers. There is something here for every age group, from preschool through high school. It's also most assuredly not just a catalog of problems, but a well-developed thesis leading to the insight necessary for solutions. Several chapters in the final section would be worth the price alone. "Discipline That Does Not Divide" is an excellent parenting primer, while "Create a Village of Attachment" will help both parents and teachers ensure that their charges profit from their school experience.
We who attended Dr. Neufeld's seminars in Vancouver had been waiting several years to see his ideas in print. The book does not disappoint. I will be rereading mine many times in the coming years. And perhaps more to come from this master of parenting.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great message, BUT....,
This review is from: Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More (Paperback)I purchased this book after attending a 2 hour lecture by Mr. Neufeld which was a huge eye opener and was profound enough to change how I parent.This book has an impactful message, focusing on cultivating a connected relationship with your child and insight into the negative impact that occurs when children become more connected to their peers than their parents.
Read all the 5 star reviews to find out about the good side of this book BUT- here is the downside- as much as I appreciated the message, this book is not an easy read and I am a true die hard reader of non-fiction books (esp. parenting books!) Had I not attended the lecture I never would have persevered through to finish the book.
It felt to me that the author was more focused on proving his theory to other scholars rather than relating to the average parent. I love to pass on books that have made a difference in my life, yet I know this one would sit half read on my friends night stands due to the fact that it was too long, too wordy, and points were repeated to the point of being redundant.
In terms of message I rate this book a 5 star, because of how it was written I must give it a 3 star rating.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very Important Book.,
By A Customer
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about time!,
Gordon Neufeld's book is not another prescriptive "how to" manual. He reminds us that our children are more than their behaviour. He turns our gaze to their relationship needs, and shows us clearly what happens for children when those needs are met, and describes the disastrous results for a child's emotional, social, and intellectual development when they aren't. Dr. Neufeld helps us to see what is going wrong with our children, and what needs to be done to make it right. This book touches the heart of parenting in a way no other parenting book I have ever read does. it rings true begininning to end; I can't recommend it strongly enough.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Thought Provoking Book,
This review is from: Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More (Paperback)Last summer I picked up Hold On To Your Kids. Quite honestly, it has taken me a while to get through it (finally did today!). Part One The Phenomenon of Peer Orientation was fascinating. Part Two Sabotaged: How Peer Orientation Undermines Parenting scared the crap out of me. Part Three Stuck in Immaturity: How Peer Orientation Stunts Healthy Development was a tough read as Neufeld regurgitated the same points from part one & two with just a slightly different theme, though I still highly recommend reading this part. Part Four How to Hold On To Our Kids (How to Reclaim Them) was inspiring and motivating for raising children in a loving parent-child bond while providing gentle discipline. Part Five Preventing Peer Orientation gives great advice on how to avoid an overabundance of peer-peer socialization, however a lot of it is common sense which many parents could formulate after reading the previous chapters.
Basically, Neufeld & Mate feel we're in a state of crisis concerning our children. Children are bonding with their peers, putting them first. We're letting our children be raised by other children. Children need adults to show them correct morals and values on how to become a good human being. Children do not learn that from their peers. Adults, mainly parents, grandparents, and teachers, provide unconditional love, while peer bonds usually have many conditions.
In his book, Neufeld & Mate give the reader many wonderful tools to use to help create the parent-child attachment (part four). Basically, be attentive, connect, be supportive, offer unconditional love, and guide instead of dictate.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most valuable book on parenting,
By A Customer
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an invaluable resource for any parent who is concerned about the effects of peers on their children,
This review is from: Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More (Paperback)I received this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.
This is an invaluable resource for any parent who is concerned about the effects of peers on their children.
The advice given by Drs. Neufeld and Maté really resonated with me, and it validated my instinctual parenting practices. I have always been a proponent of attachment parenting, and I consider my children's attachment bond to me (and vice versa) to be extremely strong. However, this book still gave me some useful advice on what I can do to improvement our relationship even further. I found the psychology of attachment as explained by the authors to be very interesting.
As a mother, I am extremely concerned about the influence of peers. It is harder to be kid nowadays than it was when I was growing up. This book holds the key to helping parents to foster the attachment to the parent and not to the peers. For most parents, the desire to foster attachment to babies is automatic: They respond to a baby's needs, soothe and comfort the baby as needed, talk to baby about what is in her environment to help the baby relate to what is around her, and so forth. As the baby passes on into the toddler stage, many parents feel that the child needs to interact with other children so that they "learn to get along with others." The torch of teaching is unwittingly passed, so to speak, from the parent to a child's peers at any early age and the child is put into situations (for example, through play-dates and daycare) where they are expected to attach to their peers. The authors explain why socializing is not equivalent to socialization:
"The belief that socializing begets socialization persists in the absence of any evidence to support it. Despite its popularity, this assumption cannot stand up to even the most cursory examination. If socializing with peers led to getting along and to becoming responsible members of society, the more time a child spent with her peers, the better the relating would tend to be. In actual fact, the more children spend time with each other, the less likely they are to get along and the less likely they are to fit into civil society. If we take the socialization assumption to the extreme - to orphanage children, street children, children involved in gangs - the flaw in thinking becomes obvious. If socializing were the key to socialization, gangs and street kids would be model citizens."
Drs. Neufeld and Maté discuss a study conducted by Dr. Urie Bronfenbrenner and his research team at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York which found that "the children who preferred spending time with their parents demonstrated many more of the characteristics of positive sociability" compared to the children who gravitated to their peers. "The kids that spent the most time with each other are the most likely to get into trouble." Not surprising!
The authors are not against peer bonds but suggest that the manner in which they are made (socialization via maturation versus socialization via attachment) is the key:
"True social integration requires not only a mixing with others but a mixing without losing one's separateness or identity."
The authors also describe a process of "collecting" our children or making a connection with them at the outset of each interaction with them. I know that I have sometimes asked my children multiple times to do something and they say "okay" but still don't do it! It is so frustrating! If I follow the advice of the authors, I should "get in the child's face - or space - in a friendly way" which entails making a connection with the child through eye contact, trying to evoke a smile, and if possible a nod of the head. Rather than calling from the kitchen and asking one of my kids to do something, I should go to the child to "collect" her first: Get her attention and establish eye contact (a touch on the shoulder or bending down to eye level makes it easier), try to evoke a smile and a nod of the head (I might say something like, "That game sure looks like a lot of fun!" which will probably get a smile and maybe even a nod of the head). Once I have "collected" her and have her attention, I can ask her to do whatever it was that I needed her to do: "Could you please go downstairs for me and bring up a jug of milk from the refrigerator?" It takes a little bit more effort on my part, but it also saves me the headache of asking my kids to do something repeatedly with no response. It is such a simple thing, yet very effective.
Collecting the child in this manner is the first step in trying to re-establish a connection to a child who is already showing signs of "peer orientation," where peer bonds have replaced parental bonds. There is an entire section of the book devoted to educating the parent on how to reclaim the child.
The information is presented in a manner that is very easy to follow, and the authors include real-life examples for further emphasis. This book should be required reading for all parents! Highly recommended!
The narrator of the book is Daniel Maté. His pace was very good, and his style was engaging. My only complaint is that there is often "dead air" at the end of each chapter. The first time it happened, I had to glance down at my iPod because I thought the battery was dead. No, it was just dead air. It was as long as 44 seconds in one instance! Other than that, there were no technical glitches.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More (Paperback)While I agree with most of what the authors have to say, I have some reservations about it. Never has the family been so child centered; we're having fewer kids, having them later, understanding better our roles as parents and questioning how we were raised ourselves. I think there is some fear-mongering in this approach. 'Better not allow your kids to ever get angry at you or ever be told, "because I say so" or show your own ambivalence about parenting or else the kids will reject you, your influence, your ideas, your values and turn completely to peers to fill them up.' I do understand that there is more stuff outside of the home to lure kids away and never have children been so targeted by media and shopping and gadgets and peer pressure. But the generation gap is not new; kids have been rejecting parents openly since the fifties when 'dating' emerged as an activity not necessarily leading to marriage and media and the automobile gave kids a freedom that was unprecedented. I'm pretty sure this generation didn't invent eye-rolling and sighing and disobedience and pushing limits.
Parents are more stretched than they were a few generations ago. Dual incomes are the norm. Kids are 'raised' in daycares and often outside their homes. Divorce is common. But I also don't think these phenomenons are wholly new. Go back far enough and women were all working - who filled all the low paying factory jobs during the industrial revolution? Poor people have always had to work - women inside and outside their homes. Large families meant lots of siblings - lots of kids that were expected to shut up and contribute and certainly not cause any waves. To be fed and clothed and educated meant the parents were doing a good job. I'm sure these parents didn't have the intelligence or luxury to worry about their offspring's emotional balance. They had to cope. Period. Women died in childbirth and second or third marriages and step-families and half-families and kids being separated and divided among relatives were not unusual.
I'm not suggested for one moment that there isn't much more to child rearing than providing food and shelter and education. I think intelligent parents should be concerned with their children's self esteem, their core feelings of trust and safety, have friendly, positive, open, communicative relationships with their kids. I think, whenever possible, kids should be raised in their own homes or have daycare situations that are as stable as possible. But I don't think 'time outs' or 'removal of privileges' are akin to child abuse. I don't think the average child will be annihilated from a temporary loss of favor. Good grief! Dr. Spock talks about setting limits right from the start. I totally respect his opinion - it seems a great balance between the needs of the parent and the child. If your 6 month old is biting you, it seems reasonable to put them down and tell them no. Not sure the authors of this book would agree. That would be cruel - the child needs more cuddling, more affirmation, more affection.....Really? Children need limits and boundaries and reasonable expectations and they get this through confident loving leadership. How can children learn how to handle disappointment if they are never disappointed? How can they learn the value of their privileges if they never earn them?
So I found this an interesting read overall. I think from a 'social anthropology' perspective it's very intriguing. Always interesting to read about trends and differences in generations. But I do think most of these theories can be easily taken with a grain of salt. All parents have their own styles - some naturally strict, others more permissive. All can raise happy, well adjusted kids that value their family connections for their whole lives. This is something else Dr. Spock mentions - it's more the tone and spirit of your parenting that matters. So I have both books on my shelf. When I become a grandmother I'll lend out both to my daughter. She turned out ok and we have a fabulous relationship. I think I've always naturally adopted the approach of non-punitive parenting. My home was always a place where her friends liked to be.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging,
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging but not difficult,
This review is from: Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More (Paperback)I disagree with previous reviews that claim this book is lecture-like or difficult to read - it is not, I tore through it in under 2 days (and it should be noted I have a 3-year-old - who is not neglected!). It is a brilliant book, meticulously logical and based on facts and evidence rather than assumptions about human nature. This book will help so many parents make sense of their children's behaviour, and hopefully it will also help them nurture their children through the pitfalls of adolescence.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More by Gabor Mate M.D. (Paperback - May 10 2005)
CDN$ 22.95 CDN$ 16.57