Toddler,Pediatrics,Parenting,Benjamin Spock

Hansen: Omaha pediatrician's book ‘The Toddler Brain’ is filled with important parenting lessons

February 17, 2017

I’m fascinated by a new parenting book, which is strange, since I’m not a parent. But this isn’t your ordinary parenting book. This is a book by an Omaha pediatrician, a one-time sidekick of Dr. Benjamin Spock, a former preschool owner and current director of innovation at the University of Nebraska Medical Center who has serious expertise in both Silicon Valley and potty training. This book, by Dr. Laura Jana, borrows from the lessons we have learned about succeeding in the 21st century — old-school lessons like persistence and playing in the same sandbox and new ones about curiosity and adaptability. She seeks to apply those lessons to the youngest among us — children who Jana thinks we often still parent like we’re in the Industrial Age instead of the Digital Age. The assembly line is dead, and with it should die the rote memorization and safety-at-all-costs approach to parenting, she says. Instead, we can help kids with skills — skills like empathy, self-motivation and even how to fail — vital in an era where the only constant is change. Think about this, she says: Research predicts that today’s average third-grader will eventually find employment in a job that has yet to be invented. And yet, far too often, we train out of that third-grader the very skills he or she needs to succeed in this brave new world. Parents may sense that this is a new era and that their kids will face different challenges, Jana said, but they can use some help in figuring out how to adapt. “Can you think of a time in life when you are more buried than when you have a new child? Like, now you are going to start thinking about a new way to look at the world? No way!” she said. “So I had seen all these bits and pieces, too, except that I hadn’t seen anybody...

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