A Good Start in Life: Understanding Your Child's Brain and Behavior

A Good Start in Life: Understanding Your Child's Brain and Behavior

by Norbert Herschkowitz, Elinore Chapman Herschkowitz, Jerome Kagan, Elinore Chapman Herschowitz
     
 

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There are lots of child development books on the market. But how do readers – especially parents – find practical answers they can trust? A Good Start in Life provides just that.

We all want to do the best we can for our children. Nature has equipped us with an instinct to protect and nurture. Unfortunately, we have not been provided with

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Overview

There are lots of child development books on the market. But how do readers – especially parents – find practical answers they can trust? A Good Start in Life provides just that.

We all want to do the best we can for our children. Nature has equipped us with an instinct to protect and nurture. Unfortunately, we have not been provided with universal rules of parenting. So we look to experts to fill that void. But there’s just so much information out there – and it often looks like half of it appears to be filled with contradictory advice while the other half is mired in scientific jargon that most parents have trouble deciphering. This is especially true of the data on the intricate workings of the developing brain. It’s a daunting task to figure out just what a parent should do. The key is to listen carefully to what science is telling us. Finally, we have sensible guides to interpret the information in straightforward and practical ways.

Dr. Norbert Herschkowitz, a Swiss pediatrician and neuroscientist, and his wife, Elinore Chapman Herschkowitz, an American educator, have teamed up to write this warm, friendly book to guide parents through the formative years of their child’s life. With a specific focus on the brain, we follow the path of early childhood development from gestation to birth to six years old. Each chapter deals with a particular phase of development.

We begin with “Life in the Womb – What Are You Doing In There?” and “Newborn – Here I am!” As parents add candles to the birthday cake, new chapters prepare them for what lies ahead. Best of all, each chapter is accompanied by a section called, “To Think About…” These sections address practical topics like good night rituals, testing limits, coping with conflict, reading books together, the value of piano lessons, evaluating day care options, and encouraging “why” questions.

Although there are scores of books that deal with early childhood development, few – if any – so artfully combine solid, reliable science with logical, clear-cut information and advice. Parents need no longer worry about missing special “windows” of learning opportunity. They don’t have to deal with lingering doubts about the “right” way or the “best” way to bring up their child. They won’t be left with that niggling feeling that they just didn’t do something essential. With science – and the Herschkowitz’s – by their side, the process of bringing up baby just got a whole lot easier.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Herschkowitz, a Swiss pediatrician and neuroscientist, and Chapman Herschkowitz, his American educator wife, use a novel device to tackle an oft-discussed subject child development. Directing their text at the educated parents of newborns to six year olds, the authors devise fictitious children of differing temperaments, which allows readers to connect with the text. As these children relate to their parents and one another, their activities at developmental milestones are described. A question-and-answer section closes each chapter. Concerns about what the parent should do in various situations are briefly answered by referring to a scientific explanation, though in several sections the discussion of a topic seems to end abruptly. Although slightly dated, Lise Eliot's What's Going on in There?, Kyle Pruett's Me, Myself, and I: How Children Build Their Sense of Self, and Craig T. and Sharon L. Ramey's Right from Birth are more complete. Still, with a glossary of technical terms and a fairly current bibliography, this remains a solid entry in a crowded field. Purchase for large public library collections. Margaret Cardwell, Christian Brothers Univ. Lib., Memphis Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Dr. Norbert Herschkowitz, a Swiss pediatrician and neuroscientist, and his wife, Elinore Chapman Herschkowitz, an American educator, join forces in this guide for parents on childhood development from gestation to birth to six years of age. Focused on the brain and its role in learning and socializing, the text incorporates the most recent psychological and biological knowledge. Each chapter deals with a particular phase of personal and social development, and concludes with a question-and-answer section of questions typically raised by parents, such as the issue of early schooling, sibling differences, testing limits, coping with conflict, reading books together, evaluating day care options, and encouraging "why" questions. This is a seriously written book useful for parents as well as professionals involved with children. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Guy McKhann
"This delightfully written book is not merely a ho-to book, but a book about understanding how a child truly grows."

-Guy McKhann, M.D., professor of neurology and neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Rosemarie Truglio
"A must read...a gift to all parents."

-Rosemarie T. Truglio, Ph.D., vice president, education and research, Sesame Workshop
Charles Nelson
"The answers to these and other pressing...questions are skillfully and elegantly answered in this wonderful book, which I enthusiastically recommend."

-Charles A. Nelson, Ph.D., Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Child Psychology, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics of University of Minnesota

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780309076395
Publisher:
National Academies Press
Publication date:
06/03/2002
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

Nelson
Do the first three years of life represent a critical period for all aspects of development? Are we the product of our genes or of our environment? Does early exposure to Mozart make for smarter babies? The answers to these and other pressing questions are skillfully and elegantly answered in this wonderful book, which I enthusiastically recommend.
— Charles A. Nelson, Ph.D., Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Child Psychology, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics, University of Minnesota
Reznick
Authoritative, intriguing, practical, and wise. A Good Start in Life provides a good start in parenting with a solid basis for informed and effective decisions. Norbert and Elinore Herschkowitz have written a valuable resource that is must reading for all parents and grandparents.
— J. Steven Reznick, Ph.D., Director, Program in Developmental Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Guy McKhann
In this delightfully written book, we see how the biology and psychology of child development are inextricably intertwined. We also learn about personality and temperament, language and self-awareness. This is not merely a how-to book, but a book about understanding how a child truly grows.
— Guy McKhann, M.D., Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
James Garbarino
A treasure trove of information, insight, and guidance for parents that reflects the best that developmental science has to offer.
— James Garbarino, PhD, author of Parents Under Siege: Why You Are the Solution, Not the Problem, In Your Child's Life and E. L. Vincent Professor of Human Development, Cornell University

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Meet the Author

Norbert Herschkowitz, M.D., is professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of Berne, Switzerland, where he chaired the Department for Developmental Disorders at Children’s Hospital. A neuroscientist who specializes in the interaction of brain and behavior throughout the lifespan, he has collaborated with leading American pediatric neuroscientists.
Elinore Chapman Herschkowitz holds an M.A. in German from Stanford University. She taught English for 14 years at the Bern State Teachers' College and is the author of Feeling at Home in Bern

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