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Parental prospects

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2001 - Spring


A national survey of 3,000 adults, one-third of them parents of young children, found a surprising lack of understanding about basic principles of child development. According to the survey, many parents spank their children although they know it doesn’t work and expect a 15-month-old to share, even though that doesn’t happen until children are at least two. “Parents seem to think development is some sort of race. It’s a dance, not a race,” says Kyle D. Pruett, M.D., a clinical professor at the Child Study Center and past president of Zero to Three, the child development advocacy and expertise organization that conducted the survey. One finding he found particularly disturbing was “the lack of understanding adults have about the enormously active absorption abilities of the very young within the first months of life, both of the good and the bad in their surrounding environment.”