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Touchpoints-Birth to Three: 0 to 3 Paperback – Sep 26 2006
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[Brazelton’s] advice is timeless.”
Warwick Beacon, 8/19/10
Should be required reading for any prospective parents or child daycare providers.”
Brain, Child magazine, 1/29/15
A book like this reminds us that each child is an individual and not just a symptom, disorder, or disease.” (A Top 10 Book for Parenting Children with Disabilities)
About the Author
T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. , founder of the Child Development Unit at Children's Hospital Boston, is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Pediatrics and Human Development at Brown University. He is a famed advocate for children, and his many other internationally acclaimed books for parents include To Listen to a Child, Infants and Mothers, and, with Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D., The Irreducible Needs of Children. Joshua D. Sparrow, M.D child psychiatrist and supervisor of inpatient psychiatry at Children's Hospital Boston, is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Associate Director of Training at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center. He is co-author with Dr. Brazelton of Touchpoints Three to Six and several titles in the Brazelton Way series.
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In particular, some things that impressed me:
* The author has great insight into infant and toddler behavioral development (in fact, he has great insight into parental behavior as well). This background gives parents some inclination for what is going on with their child, and is useful in crafting responses to various behaviors that are observed in the early years of a child's life.
* The book is comprehensive, touching on most aspects of parenting in the first three years.
* The book is extremely well organized. It serves well as both a reference, and a cover-to-cover read.
I do agree with other reviewers who have said the author is opinionated. I think this is a good thing -- and I gained more and more confidence in the author's opinions as I went along. Most new parents will do well to have a "starting point" when forming their own opinions. As an example, Brazelton discusses at length the importance of establishing boundaries with infants and toddlers, as this will help the child to feel competent and secure as they continually gain new dimensions of independence which both excites and scares children. But this is balanced with the moderating view that parents minimize negativity by not making big deals of things that don't really matter. This is related to discussion on what it means to "spoil" a child. To this end, Brazelton advises: (1) do sometimes let the child get frustrated when trying to accomplish a new task by themselves -- this is a feeling they're going to have to learn to manage, and (2) establish boundaries so the child has a good sense for his own competence.
So, why only 3 stars? While I find the advice in TOUCHPOINTS very helpful, I think it could be organized much better. Each chapter deals with a time period in the child's development, but oftentimes, the subject matters are scattered throughout the chapter or even across several chapters (with no cross reference given in-line). I found myself using a highlighter marker extensively so that I could use the book better when I need a reference.
Ironically, the one attribute that made TOUCHPOINTS completely worth the investment was its reference to another book, The Children's Hospital Guide to Your Child's Health and Development, which I bought. Initially, I wanted THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL GUIDE as a good developmental/medical reference, but upon reading it, the book is much more readable than I expected - so much so, that it does a much better job than TOUCHPOINTS while covering exactly the same topics and in a much better organizational format and with the same "pediatrician as partner" philosophy. By the way, Dr. Brazelton is associated with THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL GUIDE - he does the foreword and contributes to some of the content. I should stress that the organization and format of the material is exceptional. THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL GUIDE is a 5-star book that obviates the need for both/either of Dr. Brazelton's books - it and even comes in a hardcover format, which might even last until we no longer need it!
My simple advice: buy THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL GUIDE TO YOUR CHILD'S HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT instead of TOUCHPOINTS.
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