No. 615, August 24, 2009
read by Jonas Himmelstrand
We have made many references to Gordon Neufeld’s and Gabor Maté’s book Hold On to Your Kids for many years in Strategies. This month the Swedish translation has finally reached the market and a review is in place. This is perhaps the most important book in our time about young peoples learning and development.
The book begins with an example any western parent can recognise: The teenager who cannot be reached emotionally because his or her peers have become more important. This situation is often considered normal, albeit difficult to handle. Neufeld & Maté show that this phenomena, peer-orientation, is not at all normal. It is rather about skewed attachments and subverted instincts. The phenomena contributes to many of the challenges in working with young people today: unteachable students, the flatlining of culture, bullying, excessive sexualisation, self-destructiveness, psychological ill health and violence.
The authors present a very sophisticated analysis based on developmental psychology, neurobiology in addition to Neufeld’s 35 years of clinical experience.
It is an entirely new paradigm. It is not about what you do as a parent or teacher. It is about who you are to the child or adolescent. The book offers concrete examples from home, school and society.
Hold On to Your Kids is pioneer work. This book will radically reshape how parents, teachers and political decision-makers view children and adolescents. This is the most important book today about parenting, school and caring for young people. If any of these areas are important to you, this is a must read.
Hold On to Your Kids, by Gordon Neufeld.
Ballantine Books 2006. ISBN 0375760288. 320 pages.
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