Parenting with Reason
Evidence-Based Approaches to Parenting Dilemmas
Routledge – 2010 – 376 pages
Series: Parent and Child
Sometimes it feels as though everybody has an opinion on how you should bring up your child – and no two people seem to agree on how it should be done for the best! Parenting with Reason cuts through the masses of confusing and often contradictory advice about parenting by providing hard evidence to back up the tough decisions all parents face. Unlike many self-help guides to parenting which are based on the opinion of one author, this book is based on many findings from scientific research, giving you a trustworthy, ‘evidence-based’ guide to help see your way through parenting dilemmas.
Written by a clinical psychologist, a developmental psychologist and a doctor of family medicine, the book looks at pressing questions such as: 'What should I do when my child acts up?', 'How can I get my baby to sleep through the night?' and 'How do I begin to toilet-train my child?' The authors, who are also parents themselves, debunk common myths about parenting, such as the notion that a healthy baby needs to be able to breastfeed at will throughout the night, or the idea that children who are adopted need specialized counselling. They also cover issues such as how children might be affected by seeing violence on television, how a parent’s psychological health can affect their child, what the scientific evidence is for and against circumcision, and how divorce and adoption affect a child’s development. The end of each chapter gives you 'The Bottom Line', a handy summary of the key points of each issue.
This book is ideal for new or prospective parents, and paediatricians, family health providers and anyone who works with children and their parents will also find the book’s objective, scientific approach useful in their work.
"Unlike many self-help books, [Parenting with Reason] offers a range of evidence-based advice that leaves the reader able to make up their own mind about an issue, rather than being force-fed the views of the author. Throughout the book, the authors share their own personal experiences of specific parenting dilemmas, allowing readers to feel that they are not the only people who experience such difficulties. This anecdotal style of writing adds a wonderful humorous and personal touch to the book, making it a thoroughly enjoyable read. The end of each chapter presents the bottom line of each issue that was explored, providing a useful summary of the key points as a reminder. This book is well suited to all parents, or prospective parents, and anybody working with children or families." – Esther Yoder Strahan and Wallace E Dixon Jr online at www.youthinmind.info
"There is certainly a need for an evidenced-based approach to parenting. Too much of what has been published over the years on this subject has been written by nonprofessionals and geared to popular trends. The authors—a clinical psychologist, a developmental psychologist, and a family physician—do an admirable job of explaining to the layperson and professional alike their approach to dilemmas such as nutrition of breastfeeding versus bottle feeding, preventing childhood obesity, the ins and outs of toilet training, parenting through the dark days of adolescence, controlling a child’s exposure to pop culture, disciplining, and whether hitting your child can ever be justified." – Mardi Allen in PsycCRITIQUES
"Almost every day there is a story in the news announcing another supposedly scientific finding pertaining to children, parents or families. Parenting with Reason not only offers thoughtful guidance but, much more significantly, provides parents with ways of thinking about what they read and ways to thoughtfully weigh the evidence behind the many claims they encounter. As a result, this clearly written, engaging volume should prove useful to all parents who want the best for their children." – Professor Jay Belsky, Director of the Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues, Birkbeck University of London
"What makes Parenting with Reason exceptional is that it treats parents like grown-ups – overwhelmed and baffled grown-ups sometimes, to be sure, but grown-ups never the less. What they offer is something different – research-based evidence for parents to take into account when faced with the many important dilemmas involved in bringing up their children." – Rachel Gould, counsellor and mother of 2
"I would definitely recommend this book to friends as it is so informative and insightful. There is such a wealth of information in this book and I like the way it explodes parenting myths that are not based on science" - Joanna Brown, mother to 5-year-old twins
Preface: Author Biographies and Acknowledgements. A History of Science and Parenting Advice. Sleep and its Controversies. Breastfeeding vs. Bottle: Dilemmas in Infant Nutrition. Diet Dilemmas and Childhood Obesity. The "Mozart Effect," Baby Einsteins, and Other Media-related Myth Information. Understanding and Dealing with Temperament. Medical Decisions for the Faint of Heart. What Goes in Must Come Out: Medical Perspectives on Toilet Training. How to Discipline Your Child. Violence in the Media. Parents’ Psychological Health: Effects on Children. Your Child’s Psychological Health: Nurturing Strengths and Handling Problems. Neuropsychology for Parents: ADHD and Head Injuries. Parenting Adolescents: Handling the Transitions from Childhood to Adulthood. Children, Family Structure, and Life Choices. Who's Minding the Children? References.
Esther Yoder Strahan taught for a decade as Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Heidelberg College, combined with part-time clinical practice. She has recently moved into full-time clinical practice. She enjoys travel with her husband Jeffrey and two young children, Laura and Isaac.
Wallace E. Dixon, Jr. is Professor and Chair of the Psychology Department at East Tennessee State University. His wife Michele is a clinical child psychologist, and the two struggle to raise their daughters Rachel and Sarah to withstand the stigma of having two child psychologist parents.
J. Burton Banks is a former associative professor of family medicine at East Tennessee State University. His clinical interests include children's health and care of child abuse victims. Dr Banks now practises medicine in southwest Virginia, where he lives with his wife Korina and three children, Trent, Skylar and Tanner.