Sunday, March 7, 2010

Our Babies, Ourselves

Harish sent us a book: "Our Babies, Ourselves: how biology and culture shape the way we parent" by Meredith Small.

This book was published in 1998, and it indeed sounds so pre-1998, that is, so pre-The Nurture Assumption by Judith Ruch Harris. In the sense that it makes unproven statements about the effects of early parenting on later life. Here is an example from the end of the chapter on crying:

[...] the work by Tronick and others shows that even from day one, the way babies connect to their caretakers has a powerful influence on how they see the world. One child might grow up self-assured with a positive attitude because even in infancy she experienced a state of equilibrium with a caretaker who was sensitive and empathetic [...]
The work of Tronick shows that some activities of the caretaker has some influence on the child's attitude a few minutes later. It is a far cry from the twenty years implicitly heard in the verb "grow up". The statement sounds true. It may not be.

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