“If you are a parent, carer, health professional or educator, I have designed this book to help you tune in to the emotional needs of children in your care, in order to support their developing emotional intelligence. However, I would also invite you to use this book to gain insights into the origins of your own unique emotional makeup, and thus illuminate your own path of healing and growth (Parts IV, V, and VI are particularly geared towards the latter purpose). It is my hope that this book will also be used as a resource for policy makers whose decisions chart the course of families’ lives and social destiny.
“I do have some concerns about how the information contained in this book and others like it might be used. There is a risk that the kind of knowledge we have gained about the links between child rearing and society will result in the politicising of children. The idea of manipulating children for the purpose of creating little ‘pacifists’ bothers me a great deal. Whenever we impose our own purpose on children, our plans tend to backfire…[s]o, the purpose of this book is not to list what we ‘should’ do for children. This book is my way of arguing that all of us are parents to society’s children, and that societies must, as a matter of top priority, support parents so that they can fulfill their nurturing potential.
“This book should not be thought of as child-rearing manual. While making some suggestions, this book does not tell parents how to be parents. It tells parents and health professionals what science and clinical experience have taught us about what babies and children need for optimal emotional development. Parents are free to adapt their own abilities and resourcefulness to meeting these needs to the best of their ability and based on the support available.”
– Robin Grille