********* 9 Stars!
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Just what does it take to raise a responsible, compassionate child in a society whose overbearing media celebrates and encourages violence, promiscuity, and gluttonous materialism? Dr. William Sears and his wife, Martha, a nurse, understand that instilling a moral code in one's children is among the most daunting, yet vital, of all parenting tasks. In The Successful Child, they've marvelously distilled 34 years' experience parenting their eight children and treating thousands of kids in their pediatric office--along with facts from recent scientific studies--into this collection of constructive, reassuring guidelines for nurturing children into healthy, well-adjusted young adults.
As Dr. Sears told his children, "Your success in life ... will not be measured by the money you make or the degrees you earn, but rather by the number of persons whose lives are better because of what you did." To that end, Sears advocates what he has coined "attachment parenting," or AP, the practice of listening to your parenting instincts and being sensitive to your baby's needs (such as by quickly responding to cries; by breastfeeding on cue, not bottle-feeding on a schedule; and by co-sleeping). By having his needs met immediately, Sears says the child learns to trust adults, and he in turn mirrors this behavior by acting sensitively to the needs of others later on.
Sears says, "It's never too late to try the AP approach with a child," but The Successful Child definitely will be most useful to parents who've raised their child according to AP guidelines through infancy and toddlerhood. Those who haven't may shudder when Sears writes that the developmental stage from birth to one year most influences a child's future success "because that's when caregivers leave the most lasting impressions on a child's brain." Nevertheless, the Searses have packed in a plethora of sensible tips here for all parents, including 16 ways to teach children how to make wise choices, 12 strategies for guiding spiritual development, seven questions to ponder when a teen wants to start working part-time, and a dozen ways to boost your child's intellectual abilities, such as by offering a diet high in brain-building omega-3 fatty acids. But the most important thing parents can do for their kids, the Searses say, is to hold high expectations: "Let her know that you expect her to do her best, no less and no more, and that you will love her no matter what." --Erica Jorgensen
Sears, a pediatrician, provides advice on how parents can give children the tools they need to succeed in life. He begins by examining the connection parents develop with their children both before they are born and while they are young and most trusting, the connection that will develop their emotional and intellectual "tools." In the second half of the book, Sears advises parents on how to convert their children's good emotional habits into more specific skills needed for success--communication, compassion, health and fitness, and self-esteem. He focuses as much on developing spiritual values in children as steering them toward healthy diets and good study habits. Sears emphasizes that success cannot be measured simply by the attainment of good grades, career advancement, and wealth. He offers very solid advice, exercises, and evaluations to help parents guide their children from infancy through adolescence. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
William Sears, M.D., a practicing pediatrician for over 25 years, and his wife, Martha, a registered nurse, are the authors of 16 books, including The A.D.D. Book, The Discipline Book, and The Baby Book. They are the parents of eight children and currently reside in Capistrano Beach, California.
In their latest book, the Searses bring the reason and common sense of their philosophy of parenting to the hurdles of raising the older child. Attachment parenting is not just for babies; as children grow, they need to expand the web of their secure attachments to friends, teachers, community and the wider world. As there is no single plan for any one family, the Searses show a range of ways a parent can retain a child's trust and wield a positive influence as their child matures. By following the advice laid out in this book, parents can see that the bonds they have nurtured since infancy will provide the anchor that will ground their children through the challenging teen years to adulthood.
Parents (or parents to be) - Buy This Book!, August 27, 2002
Reviewer: Peter Alamilla (see more about me) from South Ozone Park, NY United States
William Sears and his wife Martha, a pediatrician and a nurse respectively, have written an excellent book. Although raising eight children does not make one an expert in child rearing, the personal examples they provide prove that they are. They also use real-life examples of parents and children they have met in their pediatric practice and also back their examples up with references to medical research.
When my daughter was born six months ago my wife and I followed our gut and cared for our baby the way we FELT was right. We spent a lot of time with her, spoke to her all the time, and did not ignore her when she cried. But I wasn't sure if we were doing the right thing. Upon reading The Successful Child we were relieved because the authors promoted a method in line with ours, and we used the book to refine our method further.
Most importantly, the book also helped us to understand our baby's behavior. For example, babies are not trying to manipulative us when they cry, they are communicating their needs to us. Ignore their cries and you are essentially teaching your child that their needs will not be met and that their attempts at communicating with you are futile, so they may stop communicating. This may result in a quieter child (which some books advocate) but at what cost?
The book is a little bit repetitive at times and I wish they would have listed the sources for the research they cite, but do not let this stop you from purchasing an excellent book...
Powerful Advice for Parents and Child Care Pros, April 3, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from USA
I bought this book and "The Child Whisperer" by Matt Pasquinilli on the advice of a professional. I was having difficulty getting my child to listen and follow through with simple tasks. It was affecting her school too. She is such a wonderful child, so kind and caring.
The problem was that she gets distracted easily, and daydreams too much. "The Child Whisperer" was so profound in its simplicity. It created a foundation of basic skills that changed my relationship with my child.
The man who recommended these two books suggested I read and reread "The Child Whisperer" first, then after trying the techniques within it for a few weeks, I was supposed to start reading "The Successful Child:What Parents Can Do to Help Their Kids Turn Out Well." Fantastic advice!!! "The Successful Child" is chock full of easy to use advice and insights that will build your child's confidence and esteem.
All children are wonderful and start out completely innocent. As parents, we can use all the help we can get to raise happy and healthy kids. This book helps!
Excellent - The Science Behind Well Rounded Children!, December 16, 2002
Reviewer: kelly-lcce (see more about me) from Kennesaw, GA United States
I've read quite a lot of Dr. & Martha Sears' books and agree with some previous reviewers who have said that some of their most recent releases are just rehashes of old stuff [something I began to find very frustrating!]. However, this book was well worth my money!
I was pleasantly surprised to find a well organized book taking a "bird's eye view" of childrearing - not getting so bogged down in babyhood, but looking at the long term goals and results. I found the research quoted throughout fascinating and really enjoyed their synthesis of scientific study. I liked seeing their logic on how their suggestions for raising babies, preschoolers, and elementary age kids on up are likely to result in the attributes I want for my own children.
I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Siblings [something they are obviously experts at after 8 children!], Raising Moral and Responsible Children, and Sexuality; as well as the numerous suggestions and ideas for raising older children. This book is an excellent follow up to "The Baby Book" - what to do when the baby isn't a baby any more!
Even if you are not the least bit inclined towards Attachment Parenting, this book would be an interesting read just as a counterpoint to your own philosophy. I'm very excited to have found such a useful book!
Excellent guide for raising children, October 1, 2002
Reviewer: A reader
This book does an excellent job of discussing what parents can do to help their children become successful people. It delves into diverse topics such as responsibility, academics, compassion and communication. I highly recommend this to parents of children from toddlers to teenagers. I would also recommend a book the by co-author of this one, Elizabeth Pantley, called Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading - as a guide to the practical aspects of using the tools described in The Successful Child.