Friday, November 2, 2012

Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté (Audio book review)

Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté
Post Hypnotic Press
Published 2012
Narrator: Daniel Maté
Length: 12 hrs 17 mins

As a parent my worst fear is to lose my kids—whether to death or to the dark side of this world where drugs, misuse of sex and bad associations can hurt them. In the province of Quebec where I live, we have the highest rate of teen suicides in Canada, a fact that should alarm parents to the vulnerability of our kids and what we can do to hold on to them. When I was given the possibility to review the audio book Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Matter More Than Kids, I jumped at the chance. And I'm so glad I did!

The authors, two doctors who are also fathers, delve into the phenomena of peer orientation—when children form stronger attachments to their friends than to the adults in their lives, resulting in their becoming secretive, unreachable and hostile around their own parents even from a very young age. Having studied child psychology I was intrigued to learn more, especially since I am also a parent. I found this to be a well-written and intelligent book explaining how the attachment brain functions. I really appreciated how it helped me to better understand the youth culture, especially its aggressive behaviors, bullying, teen suicides, heightened sexuality, music, dialogue, and hostility toward adults.

This book is not a how-to book on parenting but rather a psychology book that helps a parent to understand the importance of attachment in their relationship with their children. When I was pregnant with my first child I read about attachment parenting and it appealed to my sense of motherhood and to my European cultural background. I feel it helped me to bond with my children. Listening to this book served to reinforce some of my parenting choices that at times went against the norm.

Hold on to Your Kids is a detailed discussion on the causes and effects of peer-orientation, however, the authors also offer solutions in the form of concepts, principles and practical advice. I felt empowered as a parent and this book really motivated me to be the best parent I could be. It fueled my intuitive need to be the best source of proper direction, guidance and love for my children. I have a new-found understanding of my children and their development, prompting me to do everything to hold on to them, as my husband and I raise them and help them mature into responsible and happy adults.

The narrator, Daniel Maté, has a warm and appealing voice that helped the material from becoming too text-bookish  He was engaging as he narrated with warmth and fluidity. He nailed teen dialogue and changed voice inflection when reading samples of family situations. I enjoyed his narration and would love to hear more of his work.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who works with kids of any age—daycare workers, teachers, educators, youth therapists, psychologists, school principals, guidance counselors, but above all, parents. Hold on to your kids. They are precious, and lost without us.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read. There was an instance where the narrator is reading a note left by a kid to his parents that included a few f-words.

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: Thanks to Carlyn Craig from Post Hypnotic Press for sending me this audio book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Sound Bytes is hosted by Devourer of Books, a weekly Friday meme where you can link up your audio book reviews.

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