Perfect Parents

Perfect Parents : Baby-care Advice from Past to Present

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The best way to counteract the anxiety induced by reading too many baby-care books is to take a detached look at the staggering range of advice mothers have been given over the last two and a half centuries. Christina Hardyment provides a much-needed new perspective on the whole perplexing business, showing that not only has the advice given always been subject to the prevailing fashions and to the personal quirks of their authors, but also that the books have had a hand in provoking the anxieties they set out to quell. From Jean Jacques Rousseau and the Edgeworths to Penelope Leach and Paula Yates; from James B Watson's admonitions about physical contact ('Never hug and kiss them. Never let them sit in your lap. If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say good-night. Shake hands with them in the morning.') to jean Liedloff's insistence that babies should be kept physically attached to their mothers until they positively struggle to get away. It is all here: the exhortations, the warnings, the assurances on everything from the breast to the potty. This book is intended for parents, social historians, child-care professionals, more

Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 128 x 192 x 26mm | 281.23g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 8 pp black and white halftones, line figures, bibliography
  • 0192861727
  • 9780192861726

About Christina Hardyment

Anthor, journalist, and reviewer, Christina Hardyment is well-known for her witty, incisive pieces in the Guardian and more