The Natural Child: Parenting
from the Heart
by Jan Hunt
Review 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 "learning
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.