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15 February, 2007

The Continuum Concept

Before my daughter was born, her mother and I read quite a lot about what to do and why. We already knew a fair bit – we had both studied psychology at uni – and we already had the examples of our own parents and those of our friends and relatives to learn from but there was one book that stood head and shoulders above all the others. In fact, it was the only book that made any sense at all and it was the one whose advice we followed as best we could. The book was The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff.

If you have a child, if you’re about to have a child, if you know someone who has a child or is having a child or even vaguely thinking about it, drop everything and go out right now and buy this book. Throw away every other book you have about child rearing and stop listening to all the people – especially your parents – offering you advice. Read this book first and then, if you still think it's worthwhile, you can try the rest. But be warned, once you have read the book and understood how child rearing should be done, you will be appalled and dismayed at the awful job most people are making of raising their children.

The Continuum Concept is possibly the most important book ever written because it explains how to make your child a happy and well-balanced person. It takes a sensible, evolutionary perspective on child-care (and was written a long, long time before this was fashionable). It starts from the premise that if your child’s reasonable demands for comfort and attention are met in a practical but diligent way, he or she will grow up secure and happy and self-confident. The things the book suggests are not hard (we followed its advice punctiliously and, honestly, it was a pleasure) but the difference is astonishing.

My daughter was always so happy and cheerful as a baby that people constantly commented on it. She never grizzled or whined. She was never ‘naughty’ or attention-seeking. Despite quite extreme difficulties in her life, she grew up sweet and loving, happy and self-assured – one of the nicest people I have ever known.

It is so, so sad that people treat their children so badly and it is no consolation that, in return, they get the children they deserve.

Get the book. Read the book. Pass it on to everyone you know (I’ve been doing this for years). Go to the Continuum Concept Network website if you need more info. But for the sake of all of us, if you have a child in your care, do him or her the biggest favour you ever could and take Liedloff’s advice!

2 comments:

Becky said...

A dilemma:

How do I simultaneously read this book and ignore the advice of "others - especially parents"?

...

But seriously, thank you :-)

~ Daughter.

elisa said...

I totally agree about THE book.
As for Becky: it becomes easy to ignore comments and advice from others once you feel confident you have the parental instinct in YOU.
Sometimes I just nodded because I realized that arguing of telling my point was not worth it and then just as I thought BEST.

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