BEING THERE by Erica Komisar


Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters
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Why it is so critical to be present in your child's early life.

Using current research, statistical evidence, and material from her work as a therapist and social worker, Komisar pulls together a cohesive argument about the importance of being physically and emotionally present during your child's first three years. During this time, a child is developing in numerous ways: physically achieving the goals of crawling, walking, talking, etc. and the emotional skills needed to cope with frustration, anxiety, separation, and other feelings. "Spending more time with your child during this critical period of development means she will have a greater chance of being emotionally secure and resilient to stress," writes the author, "as well as being better able to regulate her emotions throughout life, read others' social cues, achieve a higher emotional intelligence, and connect with others intimately." Komisar offers practical advice for mothers who must work, whether full- or part-time, offers suggestions for those who complain of being "bored" when they stay at home with a young child, and encourages mothers, fathers, and other caregivers to take the time to be fully present with the child. This means putting away the cellphone or computer and focusing on the child, getting down to her level to play, read, sing, and interact. The author also provides lists of important questions to ask before placing a child in day care, thoroughly explains the damage done to a child when a mother is absent, and considers why society doesn't place a higher value on the act of parenting. Komisar's information is common-sensical, but because American society has moved so far away from accepting mothering as a crucial job, it’s quite welcome. As she notes, the health and well-being of our children should be first and foremost in every parent's life.

Solid research and easy-to-follow advice about how to recognize “the essential role of mothers in the lives of their children and mak[e] it easier for women to be there when it matters most.”

Pub Date: April 11th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-14-310929-7
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Tarcher/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2017


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