Top positive review
Useful but sometimes overwhelming and questionable
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 16, 2019
I liked this book overall. I thought the explanations for why kids behave like they do were good, and how our reactions as adults can overwhelm us also makes sense. But some of the "deeper" explanations were either overwhelming or questionable. Specifically I am talking about
1) The scientific explanations overall were quite dense and overly detailed. I did appreciate them, just thought they should have been paired down.
2) The notion of attachment theory is not universally accepted these days by the scientific community. This book presents it as absolute fact and then basically says it's your fault as a parent if your child is not securely attached by age 1. Not sure if that's the right message to give to new parents.
3) Same with the left/right brain dichotomy. It's a useful way of thinking about things, but at the same time it's been somewhat debunked (there doesn't seem to be a complete isolation, like the author claims) and in my opinion was presented too dogmatically as well.
That being said, this book was written a while ago, before some of the new research came out for #2/3. So it's not as much the author's fault necessarily, more just something to keep in mind as the reader and something that makes this book less useful in my opinion.
But overall I thought it had good advice on how to de-escalate interactions with children and how to think about them, and it's worth reading for that.