Okay, so this isn’t your cozy up to the fireplace with a nice cup of tea reading, but it was a very interesting book. Sunderland bases her research on scientific studies and brain scans. She explores how parenting choices can effect a child’s brain development. Most new parents look at their babies and wonder, “what is going on in there?” Sunderland answers that question with almost more detail than the new parent can manage. It is a book about science after all. I know I won’t remember what part of the brain my child is using when he has a temper tantrum (higher, mammalian and reptilian are the choices), but the advice that she offers is helpful.
Most parents want to do what’s best for their children. After reading this book, they may feel added pressure. I was glad that I read the book as it reaffirmed some of the decisions that I have made as a parent. However, it is intimidating to realize that your decisions can have such long-term consequences. As the review in Booklist states, “Parents who are disabused of erroneous parenting lore no longer have the comfort of believing that there are no right answers.”
On the brighter side, Sunderland also talks about the “chemistry of love.” Parents can take some solace in knowing that tickling and snuggling their children, provide them with “joy juice.” Well, at least I’ve got one thing right!