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nott theodore

Non Fiction Book Recommendations

Recommended Posts

Jo Raskoph
Posted (edited)

Title: Understanding Children
Author: Herbert Renz-Polster
Genre: Parenting
Year published: 2009
Summary:
Raising children: an evolutionary perspective
Children's development follows programming that originated in humankind's earliest days. For thousands of years this has ensured that our little ones developed in the right ways and reached maturity equipped with the tools to cope with life. Nowadays, parents are often concerned by their children’s behaviour and feel guilty about not doing a good enough job.

However, the latest evolutionary research presents the theory that children develop the way they do because it was once necessary for their survival. Their behaviour was strength, not weakness. If children from centuries ago had indiscriminately eaten any green leaves they happened to come across, they wouldn't have survived for very long. It is hardly surprising, then, that even today children view vegetables with scepticism. Once you understand the "meaning" behind children's behaviour you will be able to support their development in a more relaxed manner.

Why I would recommend it: For anyone who's ever been a parent it's probably a well known experience that you worry about doing shit wrong. You love these children to bits, but they are so precious it breaks your heart because with all the advice floating around it seems like you'll inevitably fail them. You'll either feed them the wrong things, the wrong amounts or at the wrong time, you'll put them to sleep too often, not often enough, the wrong way … The list of things you could possibly do wrong is endless and society is not subtle at all in telling you that you're screwing up - unless you do it this specific way (with a raised index finger).

This book helps put everything back in perspective. As humans we are an insanely successful species who can survive on every continent. We've not become that because there's the one and only right way to handle a baby, handle parenting, and every other way is instant doom. It doesn't matter how exactly you raise your child as long as you raise it in a way that allows your family to function. And you are a part of that family, so even if 1000 mommy blogs tell you you need to do XYZ you really should only ever do XYZ if that works with you. So that's an important reminder and I will 100% gift this to everyone who is having a new baby.

Edited by Jo Raskoph
I also wanted to say I second the rec for "Invisible Women". I'm in love with that book!

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