The Natural Child: Parenting from the Heart
by Jan Hunt
Reviewed by Roberta Waters,
"Trust children." That is the essence of the message parenting counselor
Jan Hunt, hopes those reading her book will take with them. Ms. Hunt uses attachment
parenting as her style of interacting with children - and points out that while many
think attachment or empathetic parenting are new age ideas, they are actually ages old.
To get to the point of trusting our children, Ms. Hunt begins by explaining the need
to see children as real people, deserving of our attention. She then encourages the
reader to see life through the eyes of their children so that we may better understand
them. Once a parent gains this understanding, getting a child to conduct themselves the
way you would like them to behave, becomes easier because the adult will know what
motivates the child.
How does one begin on this path of understanding? Gentle birth, long term
breastfeeding, family bed, rewarding good behavior. Bad behavior by children is dealt
with in a way that validates the child but does not humiliate or distract the child from
the issue. Ms. Hunt gives numerous examples of how to deal with common frustrating
situations, for example, check-out line tantrums. Ms. Hunt includes a section for those
in regular and home schools. Additionally, she discusses what to do if the child has a
Her common sense, gentle approach to interacting with children will appeal to those
who believe in the need to guide our children in a peaceful way. This book is easy
reading and a treasure for those wanting another way to parent and wish to do so without
manipulations that teeter between punitive or reward.