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Doctor, Harried Mother and Child more aptly describes the content of pediatrician Brazelton's latest book, compiled--with additional commentary--from articles in Redbook. Among the topics covered are the hyperactive child, sibling rivalry, toilet training, setting behavioral limits, underand overstimulation, toys, the influence of television, what to do when hospitalization is necessary. Unfortunately the office vignette of distraught mother and difficult child used to introduce each topic creates straw mothers and a paternalistic pediatrician. Occasionally it would be nice to have a cool mom compare notes with the doc and say how she and the kid worked it out. For the most part the advice is sensible and practical (although the suggestion that a fearful child visit the doctor's office five or six times just to get used to it strikes one as extravagant--perhaps geared more to the doctor's need to be loved than the need to overcome an infant's fear). The chapter on the hyperactive child, pointing out that only a small percentage of children so labeled do have brain damage, is excellent and bolstering. The practical toilet-training advice also seems worth a try. As for the rest, the seasoned parent is probably aware of the pressures of toy manufacturers and TV, the inevitability of sibling rivalry, the regression that can follow separation or serious illness, and so on. Indeed the book's ideal audience may be the first-time mother who needs reassurance that the blues, frustrations, and energy drain that accompany the joys of new motherhood are par for the course.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Delacorte