Friday, January 13, 2012

Dr. Spock redux, Washington Post reprint, excerpt

New edition of “Baby and Child Care” includes sections on gay and lesbian parents, raising kids with ADHD

Benjamin Spock, the beloved child-rearing guru who spawned an entire industry of how-to-parent books, died in 1998. But he, apparently, still has some advice for us.

The ninth and latest edition of his ground-breaking book “Baby and Child Care” has just been released by Pocket Books. In it, a parent can find a slew of topics not covered in the original book. And the differences may say something about how much the parenting landscape has changed in the 65 years since the book’s first edition came out.

The new book covers advice on autism, ADHD and how to handle screen time. It addresses the new academic pressures on kids and explains how beneficial nature and play can be. It also recognizes that many parents today no longer have their own parents to rely on for advice and support.

There’s also far more recognition for cultural diversity and different sorts of family units. Gay and lesbian parents have their own section.

“Even more than the last edition, the current edition embraces diversity, in cultures, in family makeup, in parenting philosophy, and of course in children themselves,” said Robert Needlman, an associate professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University who is responsible for much of the update.

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