Rest Play Grow

Rest Play Grow

Making Sense of Preschoolers (or Anyone Who Acts Like One)

Book - 2016
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Foreword by Gordon Neufeld, PhD

Based on the work of one of the world's foremost child development experts, Rest, Play, Grow offers a road map to making sense of young children, and is what every toddler, preschooler, and kindergartner wishes we understood about them.

Baffling and beloved, with the capacity to go from joy to frustration in seconds, young children are some of the most misunderstood people on the planet. Parents and caregivers struggle with these little ones, who are known for their extreme behaviour, from tantrums, resistance, and aggression to separation anxiety, bedtime protests, and not listening. The key to understanding youngsters lies in realizing that their challenging behaviour is not personal, nor is it a disorder or deficit.

Based on science and the relational developmental approach of renowned psychologist and bestselling author Gordon Neufeld, Rest, Play, Grow reveals how critical adults are in shaping the conditions to ensure young children flourish. This is the story of how young children develop, from their intense need for attachment and the vital importance of play to discipline that preserves growth. Engagingly written, with compassion for its subjects and rich with stories from them and their parents, Rest, Play, Grow will forever change the way you think of the preschoolers in your life.

Dr. Deborah MacNamara is a clinical counsellor and educator with more than twenty-five years experience working with children, youth, and adults. She is on faculty at the Neufeld Institute, operates a counselling practice, and speaks regularly about child and adolescent development to parents, childcare providers, educators, and mental health professionals. She continues to write, do radio and television interviews, and speak to the needs of children and youth based on developmental science. Deborah resides in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two children.

Praise for Rest, Play, Grow

" Rest, Play, Grow notes the preeminence of early parent-child attachment in optimal development, and it passionately affirms the primary value of play to children's well-being and creativity.
--Raffi Cavoukian, singer, author

"This book is developmental science translated into practical love."
--Gabor Mat , MD, co-author of Hold On to Your Kids

"This is a must-read for every parent of a preschooler or younger. Read this and you will truly be your 'kid's best bet.'"
--Kristy Pillinger, editor-in-chief of Nurture Parenting Magazine

"Deborah has translated the beautifully chaotic world of being a preschooler. If there is only one book you should read as a parent, this is the one."
--Traci Costa, CEO of Peekaboo Beans

"This is not a quick-fix script but, instead, presents a road map to better understand this amazing age in all its glorious imperfections."
--Keyvan Hadad, MD, pediatrician

" Rest, Play, Grow is a refreshing reminder of the importance of slowing down and allowing children to mature at their own pace, unhindered by societal expectations."
--Lori Petro, TEACH through Love

"Dr. MacNamara truly has the gift of writing, always grounding concepts in very relatable moments from her life and work as a researcher, professor, counsellor, and, of course, parent."
--Genevieve Simperingham, Peaceful Parent Institute

"Finally, a book for parents of young children that weds neuroscience and attachment research and is consummately useful "
--Sil Reynolds, co-author of Mothering and Daughtering

Publisher: Vancouver, Canada :, Aona Books,, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780995051201
Branch Call Number: 305.231 MAC NVD
Characteristics: xiv, 290 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Neufeld, Gordon 1946-


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The book could use a good executive summary for the parents who are too busy to read the whole thing or too tired to untangle some of the excellent concepts which help adults to understand the mind of the under 5 year old. I am reading it for my kids and writing briefing notes so they can read the book when they have time but in the mean they while be assured that all these behaviours are all normal and healthy in their toddlers.

May 24, 2019

Great book on parenting, should have read it 5 years ago. The insights into child psychology have helped me to become a better parent.

Some of the parenting strategies illuminated in here are a bit too far on the flakey side for me ("oh Johnny, do your teeth do have a lot of bites in then today?" Instead of "Johnny DO NOT bite your sister!"), but I feel the approach pushes parenting in the right direction.

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