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The baby-advice industry targets people at their most vulnerable - at the start of the weightiest responsibility of their lives - and suggests that they have some information that will ensure the future happiness of the child.
Even the most skeptical readers fall prey to books that promise a happy and healthy child.
Whether new parents try to follow advice from well-known parenting experts or rejecting outside expertise in favor of their own instincts, all guidance fails to quell anxiety away. You'll find yourself constantly questioning whether the advice is the best for your child.
For most of human history, children were largely ignored until they were old enough to begin contributing to the survival of household or tribe. It is only in our modern society that children have become the center of attention from day one.
Parenting books promise that there are techniques and expertise that parents can acquire to help them accomplish the goal of shaping their children's lives. That this should be a goal is a recent development. Yet, almost every human in history has been raised without the insights of a multitude of parenting books.
Parenting is not about using techniques or thinking in terms of methods. Anything as complex as a relationship between humans can't be reduced to a set of consciously manipulable variables.
Secure attachment in children is not a result of using techniques, but from the overall quality of the relationship between children and parents who are reasonably consistently available and in tune with their children's emotions some of the time - basically, loving parents.
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In Japan and Norway, parents are focused on cultivating independence.
American parents focus on grooming their children's talents for success. Many Asian nations focus highly on academics, while the Dutch parents believe in not pushing their children too hard.
In Spain, families are focused on the social and interpersonal aspects of child development.
No particular form of therapy is proven to be better or more effective than others.
Different people prefer or respond to different forms of therapy.
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The neurobiology of affiliation is the new scientific field that describes the neural, endocrine, and behavioral systems sustaining our capacity to love. There are three factors in the neurobiology of bonding:
Oxytocin - a large molecule produced by neurons in the hypothalamus - is known for coordinating bonding, sociality, and group living. Oxytocin targets mainly the amygdala, a center for fear and vigilance, the hippocampus, and the striatum, a locus of motivation and reward.
Oxytocin is released through the central part of the neuron as well as its extensions, called dendrites. The dendrites increase oxytocin release whenever attachment memories are used and prime us for a lifetime. Early attachment memories help us move without fear. It imprints the infant's brain with distinct social patterns.