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To what extent do our parenting practices help or hinder our children? As parents, how much influence do we have over what kind of people our children will grow up to be? In the follow-up to her critically acclaimed Our Babies, Ourselves, Cornell anthropologist Meredith Small now takes on these and other crucial questions about the development of preschool children aged one to six.While Our Babies, Ourselves explored the physical and cultural preconceptions behind child-rearing and offered new clues to parenting practices that might be detrimental to a baby's best interest, Kids delves even deeper. Unraveling the deep-seated notions prescribed in most parenting books, Kids combines the latest scientific research on human evolution and biology with Small's own keen observations of various cultures for a lively, eye-opening view of early childhood in America. Small not only reveals how children in this age group socialize and absorb the rules that underlie the societies they live in; she also explains the extent to which parents enhance or hold back the emotional and psychological growth of their kids.In her engaging style, Small blends memorable accounts from her own experiences raising a preschooler with fascinating findings from her pioneering cross-cultural research, which spanned the country as well as the globe. Covering myriad aspects of the miraculous process of human growth, Small breaks new ground on topics such as why childhood is the optimum time for acquiring language skills; how children absorb knowledge and learn to solve problems; how empathy, and morality in general, make their way into a child's psyche; and the ways in which gender impacts identity. Underlying each chapter is an illuminating discussion of how the roles parents assign children in America shape the self-esteem and self-image of a future generation. Rich with vivid anecdotes and profound insight, Kids will cause readers to rethink their own parenting styles, along with every age-old assumption about how to raise a happy, healthy kid.From the Trade Paperback edition.
New parents are faced with innumerable decisions to make regarding the best way to care for their baby, and, naturally, they often turn for guidance to friends and family members who have already raised children. But as scientists are discovering, much of the trusted advice that has been passed down through generations needs to be carefully reexamined.A thought-provoking combination of practical parenting information and scientific analysis, Our Babies, Ourselves is the first book to explore why we raise our children the way we do--and to suggest that we reconsider our culture's traditional views on parenting.In this ground-breaking book, anthropologist Meredith Small reveals her remarkable findings in the new science of ethnopediatrics. Professor Small joins pediatricians, child-development researchers, and anthropologists across the country who are studying to what extent the way we parent our infants is based on biological needs and to what extent it is based on culture--and how sometimes what is culturally dictated may not be what's best for babies.Should an infant be encouraged to sleep alone? Is breast-feeding better than bottle-feeding, or is that just a myth of the nineties? How much time should pass before a mother picks up her crying infant? And how important is it really to a baby's development to talk and sing to him or her?These are but a few of the important questions Small addresses, and the answers not only are surprising but may even change the way we raise our children.From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this refreshingly down-to-earth exploration of human mating and sexuality, an acclaimed anthropologist looks at the fascinating intersection between the imperatives of our glands and genes, and the culture in which we live. Why do we fall in love with the people we do? Is there an alternative, more feminist, way to interpret traditional human sexual biology and evolution? These are but a few of the questions that anthropologist Meredith Small explores in her compelling book on human mating, What's Love Got to Do with It?From the Trade Paperback edition.