Raising Babies: Should Under 3s go to Nursery

Author: Steve Biddulph, London: Harper Thorsons, 2005

Steve Biddulph, Australian psychologist and best selling author of parenting books, such as “Raising Boys” has bravely written about one of the most hotly debated issues of our time, the use of daycare for the under-threes.

Raising Babies full book review


The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog and other stories from a child psychiatrist’s notebook


Authors: Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D. and Maia Szalavitz.  New York: Basic Books 2007.

In this elegantly and sensitively written book, Dr. Bruce Perry does for child psychiatry what Oliver Sacks has done for neurology*. Perry and his co-author make accessible to the general reader both the science and the art of working as a mental health therapist with some of the most vulnerable members of our societies. The cases let us enter not only the lives of the terribly damaged children that are described, but also the detailed clinical thinking of someone whose deep-seated humanity has allowed him to make the very best use of the most up-to-date brain science, to which he has also contributed. As such it is as much intellectual history as it is case-study, and all the stronger for it. The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog full book review


The Science of Parenting: How today’s brain research can help you raise happy, emotionally balanced children

Author: Margot Sunderland. DK Publishing Inc. 2006

This is a wonderful book that parents and professionals should enjoy reading either cover to cover or dipping into as needed. Packed with photos & laid out in multiple formats, it provides advice to parents supported by brain research, personal case studies and invitations for reflections on how they are doing as parents. Key areas covered include crying and separations, sleep and bedtimes, discipline, coping with trying times, and helping a child become socially intelligent. As world renowned expert on emotional development Jaak Panksepp says in the forward, “This superb manual for child rearing describes how healthy minds emerge from emotionally well-fertilized brains”. I could not agree more.

Reviewed Dr. Susan Foster-Cohen, Brainwave Trust presenter


A General Theory of Love

Authors: Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini, Richard Lannon. Vintage, 2001. 

One always reads publisher’s blurbs with a truckload of salt, right? In the case of this book I found that unusual creature – a book that delivers exactly what the publisher promises: “A General Theory of Love draws on the latest scientific research to demonstrate that our nervous systems are not self-contained: from earliest childhood, our brains actually link with those of the people close to us, in a silent rhythm that alters the very structure of our brains, establishes life-long emotional patterns, and makes us, in large part, who we are. Explaining how relationships function, how parents shape their child’s developing self, how psychotherapy really works, and how our society dangerously flouts essential emotional laws, this is a work of rare passion and eloquence that will forever change the way you think about human intimacy.”  A General Theory of Love full book review


Attachment Focused Parenting: Effective Strategies to Care for Children

Author: Daniel A. Hughes. W.W.Norton & Co

Daniel Hughes, respected psychologist and attachment specialist, explains in this latest work how, in attachment focused parenting, a parent uses the unique knowledge that emerges from her relationship with her child as a guide to child rearing. He describes the nature of this relationship based knowledge and the factors that are central to its development. Parents, care-givers and practitioners are offered strategies, tools and techniques to facilitate secure attachment – the essential foundation to the healthy parent-child relationship. Attachment-Focused Parenting full book review


The Philosophical Baby: what children’s minds tell us about truth, love and the meaning of life

Author: Alison Gopnik. Picador, 2010.

Ever longed to be inside a baby’s head? Wondered how it feels to experience the world through a child’s senses? The Philosophical Baby is a must-read that gives some insight into how children’s minds might work. Alison Gopnik is Professor of Psychology and Affiliate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley. She is probably best known to us as one of the co-authors of The Scientist In The Crib (1999), recently re-published as How Babies Think (2009)The Philosophical Baby full book review


The Primal Teen: What the New Discoveries about the Teenage Brain Tell Us about our Kids

Author: Barbara Strauch. Anchor Books, 2004. 

Ever wondered what is happening inside the teenage brain when they are impulsive and embarking on risk taking behaviours?  The Primal Teen weaves together neuroscience on adolescent brain development with case studies and quotes from conversations with many of the leading United States neuroscience experts. The Primal Teen full book review

An interview of Dr Strauch can be viewed on You Tube titled “Dr. Barbara Strauch – The Primal Teen – full show”.


Too Safe For Their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Teens Thrive

Author: Michael Ungar. Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, Australia, 2007. 

“At what age did you move out of your parents’ home?… who moved out at seventeen… eighteen…nineteen?” A collective giggle filled the Western Springs College library on a balmy summer evening in late November last year, as the roomful of parents, educators, social workers and mental health professionals looked around at each other self-consciously. How could we have ever been competent enough at such a young age to make so many decisions for ourselves!

Too Safe For Their Own Good full book review