‘An extremely interesting book, which studies how babies and children play together and communicate non-verbally in order to understand each other.’
Title: The Secret Language of Your Child
Author: Dr David Lewis
Publisher: Souvenir Press
Reviewer: Dr. Jo Wilson, senior research fellow, WHS
What was it like?
An extremely interesting book, which studies how babies and children play together and communicate non-verbally in order to understand each other. It outlines the close links between the proficiency in body language and the mastering of social skills. The book also includes the affect of the parents’ behaviours on the child and how rewards such as praise, games, attention, a smile or a caress can impact upon the child. The author identifies a close link between the development of proficiency in body language and the mastering of social skills. All social behaviours including the ability to make friends, to assert oneself, and to express needs or desires are learned responses. The book has ten chapters and builds up from infancy and baby talk; through to understanding baby talk, smiles, leadership and aggression; the meaning of gestures and gaze and how adults can help children through development. The book is well researched and written and uses cases to outline stages of child development.
What were the highlights?
The research and observation that has been undertaken on all social behaviours encountered by babies and young children such as their abilities to make friends, to assert themselves and to express their own needs and desires, which are all learned responses. Communication is identified as a prime requirement for any type of learning. Infants without words are not lacking in language. Non-verbal and verbal communication have been observed and studied over many years.
Strengths & weaknesses:
The author identifies the strength of early signals and the impact they have on children such as touching, stroking, grasping, sucking and making eye contact which all help in exploring their surrounding world. There is also Six Rules for Successful Child Watching. There are also many good photographs to emphasise the importance of observation and secret language of children. There are helpful signs for parents to recognise when their child is feeling anxious, aggressive or distressed which are supported by illustrations.
Who should read it?
I would reccomend this book to parents, paediatricians, paediatric nurses, nursery nurses, playgroup leaders, carers.
the secret language of your child