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ss triple helix - summer 2015,  Growing up to be a child

Growing up to be a child

Peter Sidebotham
Westbow Press, 2014, £9.14, Pb 174pp, ISBN 9781490840673
Reviewed by Andrew Tomkins, Emeritus Professor of International Child Health at University College London.

This is a 'must' for all parents! Whereas many Christian authors emphasise the need to engage in thoughtful reading and interpretation of Scripture, Jesus said that 'Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven'. Whatever did he mean?

Peter Sidebotham, a widely respected paediatrician with expertise in child development, provides rich insight into the stages of early childhood that all parents will have experienced and probably been puzzled or exasperated by. He shows how appropriate and inappropriate parenting can explain dysfunctional attitudes as adults, including a brief section on physical punishment. Brave man! He describes the relevance of understanding, attachment, selfawareness, awareness of others, and communication of a child towards a parent and gives new insights into the many scriptures which describe how, and why, we can relate to God as adults.<

This book also helps us understand why adults vary with regard to emotion, empathy and enquiry. But the author goes much further by explaining how we can all develop a greater understanding of God's love, power and purpose for us if we come with dependency, affection and wonder – just some of those precious phases of our development which often became displaced by adult arrogance and self-importance.

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