Thursday, September 16, 2010
Book Review: SuperBaby
SuperBaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years
By Dr. Jenn Berman
Sterling Publishing, 2010
English, 432 pgs.
The first three years of life are the most important for nurturing a child's full potential: that's when they start forming attachments, developing a sense of self, and learning to trust. During this time, there are critical windows of opportunity that parents can take advantage of-if they know how. In a dozen succinct yet information-packed chapters, award-winning columnist and professional therapist Dr. Jenn Berman gives parents the knowledge they need. Her enlightening sidebars, bulleted lists, and concrete, easy-to-use strategies will help parents raise happy, healthy babies…who grow to be flourishing toddlers and successful adults.
Berman (aka Dr. Jenn), a Los Angeles psychotherapist and author (The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids), focuses on development in the first three years of life. The mother of toddler twin girls, Berman quickly points out that her purpose is not to create an "uberbaby." In fact, the author flatly rejects such approaches as Baby Einstein, flash cards, and "infantainment." Instead, she guides parents though 12 crucial steps that help children grow intellectually and emotionally, devoting well-researched chapters to communication, responding to cues, creating predictability, the importance of touch, language development, sign language, foreign language, reading, play, the hazards of screen time, living green, and food and nutrition. Berman threads the work of respected parenting experts and scientific evidence throughout her text, shoring up her message that the first three years are vital for forming attachments, developing a sense of self, and learning to trust. In each chapter, she explains both why and how; for instance, play helps kids problem solve, and, among other benefits, aids in social development and impulse control; she follows up with creative toy and play ideas. The author doesn't just talk the talk; in her chapter on language, she notes that her own toddlers have learned Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Berman's absorbing new book will help parents give their youngsters a nurturing head start and a firm foundation for growth and learning.
I often wonder (as I raise two boys) if I'm doing everything wrong. I wonder if I'm talking to them enough. I wonder if I'm holding them enough, without it being too much. I wonder if I'm interacting with them enough. We've turned the TV off for the 4 year old (with the exception of when I have to take a shower in the morning) and he's really been getting creative with his play time. To that end, I was really happy to get to read this book. I have all kinds of "do this to make a happy kid" books and this will make a wonderful addition to that shelf. I knew that it was important to encourage another language in early childhood (have a friend who's kids are bilingual and I think it rocks!) but didn't really know how to do that since I don't speak another language. This gave me some ideas and hopefully I'll pick up some new words as well! I really liked the chapter on play time because I'm not sure what I need to be encouraging in the 9 month old at this time. This gave me ideas as well as a list of toys that are appropriate for him. So, all in all, I was really happy with this book and the ideas/tips is has in it. This may be the book I give expecting parents rather than my usual book which tells them what to expect as the baby grows.
I received a copy of the book in return for a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review. Thank you to Emily at Sterling for allowing me to review this book.