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Restoring Natural Parenting
on February 8, 2004
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 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.