A psychologist with a reputation for penetrating to the heart of complex parenting issues joins forces with a physician and bestselling author to tackle one of the most disturbing and misunderstood trends of our time -- peers replacing parents in the lives of our children.
Dr. Neufeld has dubbed this phenomenon peer orientation, which refers to the tendency of children and youth to look to their peers for direction: for a sense of right and wrong, for values, identity and codes of behaviour. But peer orientation undermines family cohesion, poisons the school atmosphere, and fosters an aggressively hostile and sexualized youth culture. It provides a powerful explanation for schoolyard bullying and youth violence; its effects are painfully evident in the context of teenage gangs and criminal activity, in tragedies such as in Littleton, Colorado; Tabor, Alberta and Victoria, B.C. It is an escalating trend that has never been adequately described or contested until Hold On to Your Kids. Once understood, it becomes self-evident -- as do the solutions.
Hold On to Your Kids will restore parenting to its natural intuitive basis and the parent-child relationship to its rightful preeminence. The concepts, principles and practical advice contained in Hold On to Your Kids will empower parents to satisfy their children’s inborn need to find direction by turning towards a source of authority, contact and warmth.
Something has changed. One can sense it, one can feel it, just not find the words for it. Children are not quite the same as we remember being. They seem less likely to take their cues from adults, less inclined to please those in charge, less afraid of getting into trouble. Parenting, too, seems to have changed. Our parents seemed more confident, more certain of themselves and had more impact on us, for better or for worse. For many, parenting does not feel natural. Adults through the ages have complained about children being less respectful of their elders and more difficult to manage than preceding generations, but could it be that this time it is for real? -- from Hold On to Your Kids
From the Hardcover edition.
Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Vancouver. He has spent much of his professional life creating coherent theories for understanding child development. He is nationally recognized for his work on aggression and violence among children and youth and appears regularly on radio and television, both in Vancouver and nationally.
Gabor Maté, M.D., is the bestselling author of When the Body Says No and Scattered Minds. His by-line is often seen in the Globe and Mail, for articles and commentary ranging from health to politics. He has worked in family practice, palliative care and psychotherapy. He is presently staff physician at a clinic in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, where his patients are people with drug addictions, HIV and related problems.
From the Hardcover edition.
"Hold on to Your Kids blows in from Canada like a Blue Northern, bringing us genuinely new ideas and fresh perspectives on parenting. The authors integrate psychology, anthropology, neurology and their own personal and professional experiences as they examine the 'context' of parenting today. This is a worthy book with practical implications for mom and dad."
—Dr. Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia and The Shelter of Each Other
"Hold on to Your Kids is visionary book that goes beyond the usual explanations to illuminate a crisis of unrecognized proportions. The authors show us how we are losing contact with our children and how this loss undermines their development and threatens the very fabric of sociey. Most importantly they offer, through concrete examples and clear suggestions, practical help for parents to fulfill their instinctual roles. A brilliant and well written book, one to be taken seriously, very seriously."
—Peter A. Levine Ph.D., International teacher and author of the best selling books: Waking the Tiger, Healing Trauma and It Won’t Hurt Forever, Guiding Your Child through Trauma
"The thoughts and perspectives presented by the authors are informative — even inspirational — for those who choose to dedicate their lives and energy to students."
—Bulletin of the National Association of Secondary School Principals
"With original insights on parent-child attachments and how parents can restore them, this is a book for revitalizing families and rekindling the song in their children’s hearts."
—Raffi, children’s troubadour, founder of Child Honoring Society Institute
"With simple ideas and steps, this book is directed not only to parents, but to all those — educators, social workers, counselors — whose lives and work bring them into contact with children."
—Quill & Quire
"Though this is Neufeld's personal theory, Maté (Scattered Minds, When the Body Says No) has expressed his colleague's ideas in precise and hard-hitting prose that makes complex ideas accessible without dumbing them down. The result is a book that grabs hard, with the potential to hit many parents where they live."
—The Edmonton Journal
"[M]ay serve as a loud wake-up call for mothers and fathers….this one offers what many of the others do not — that rare commodity known as common sense."
—Winnipeg Free Press
"With the benefit of 30 years of research and experience, Neufeld has crafted a coherent, compelling theory of child development that will cause an immediate frisson of recognition and acceptance in its readers. His approach has the power to change, if not save, the lives of our children."
"The authors present doable strategies to help parents help their kids. If their advice is taken to heart, there’s hope there will be more warmth and security all round."
—The Georgia Straight
Praise for Scattered Minds by Gabor Maté, M.D.
"Rare and refreshing. . . . Here you will find family stories, an accessible description of brain development and sound information. You will also find hope."
—The Globe and Mail
"An utterly sensible and deeply moving book written for a general audience."
—The Vancouver Sun
From the Hardcover edition.