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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By B. Clark on 16-01-17
Would you listen to Elevating Child Care again? Why?
Yes, I would. Since the information given applies to children of a very wide range: infants, toddlers as well as teenegers is a book that I would listen again in the future.
What did you like best about this story?
That this approach makes total sense to me, to treat babies and small children in a respectful manner as you would treat an adult.
Have you listened to any of Janet Lansbury’s other performances? How does this one compare?
It's my first time listening to Janet Lansbury.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Yes, when she talked about her mum and her relationship with her.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Carolyn on 20-04-16
Fluffy but Useful
This is not an ask-an-expert parenting book. Janet Lansbury is a sort-of-used-to-be-famous disciple of Magda Gerber, an infant development expert who died in 2007. Lansbury doesn't claim to be an expert, but she is a wholehearted believer in the RIE approach to respectful parenting and has years of experience teaching this method to other parents. This book is almost entirely about infants and toddlers, not older children.
In principle, RIE is about respecting children from birth as whole people and letting them develop and learn on their own terms and in their own time. I agree with this principle, but, like any parenting ideology, it inevitably gets taken too far, like when Lansbury is very critical of parents asking toddlers harmless questions like, "Where's your nose?" because, apparently, that creates performance anxiety...? And although it's nice in theory to ask an infant's permission to change their diaper, it's a little much to expect parents to never need to get through a diaper change with an active nine-month-old without a distraction like a toy or a song, or to constantly tell a newborn everything that is about to happen at all times. I also don't believe in never explicitly teaching children things. If you don't expose them to something, how are they supposed to know whether or not it interests them? The book also tells you to ignore your parenting instincts in favour of doing everything the RIE approach tells you, which in my opinion is more likely to make parents feel insecure and not genuine than it is to help them make good decisions for their kids.
That said, the majority of the advice is useful if you can manage to not take the sanctimonious parts too seriously. Messages for parents like "take care of yourself", "it's okay to let kids be frustrated", "you don't need to entertain your baby", and "boundaries are important and necessary, not mean" are all good and helpful things for parents to hear. Is some of it contrived? Sure. But the overall message is reassuring and surprisingly realistic. Your baby needs the freedom to explore, and it is completely reasonable to restrict their play areas with gates/fences/etc. to keep them safe. The vast majority of babies will roll, sit up, walk, talk, and toilet-train in their own time and focusing on median-based milestone timing is a recipe for unnecessary parent anxiety. Your baby doesn't need to be attached to you 24/7 to feel secure. Your toddler will thrive in a world with limits and natural consequences. Hovering and constantly intervening is not helpful and often actively undermines kids who are trying to develop social skills or learning to solve problems. Kids are happiest with simple toys and a safe play environment - they don't need noisy, over-complicated "educational" toys or fancy music classes to learn and grow. Take your cues from your child when making decisions about everything from mealtimes to conflicts with other children and don't rely on tricks or manipulative tactics to make them do what you want.
Lansbury, perhaps because she used to be an actor, is a very good narrator. Unlike many books read by the author, this one felt comfortable and natural.
I can't give this book five stars. It's definitely above average for a parenting book, but still a little judgmental and often not based on actual developmental science. However, it was much better than I expected and would be worth listening to again in the future.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
By Joan Lin on 31-03-16
I loved listening to this book, extremely calming, especially as a perfectionist first time mom.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful