Child Sense

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-10-27
  • Publisher: Bantam
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Your infant is crying and you don't know why. Your toddler refuses every kind of foodexcept one. Your preschooler wages war with you each morning over what to wear. Every day, parents struggle unsuccessfully to understand why their children act the way they do. Now child development expert Priscilla J. Dunstan breaks down those barriers to understanding with this revolutionary and accessible guide that teaches a new way of parentingcustom-designed for each child's personality. The product of eight years of groundbreaking research, this book will help you understand how your child interacts with the world. Dunstan begins from the premise that every child has his or her own dominant sensory "interface" with the world. Some children are highly sensitive to touch, others to sound or to sight. And some are unusually sensitive to all outside stimuli, especially taste and smell. This sensitivity affects how your child behaves, learns, and communicates from the very first days of life. Uncovering your child's dominant senseand knowing what your own dominant sense isis essential for finding common ground and creating bonds of trust and intimacy with your child. Use this book to take comprehensive "sense tests" to determine your child's dominant senseand your own understand how sensory overload plays out from infancy to age five, at home and in school learn why your child's sensory personality shapes the way he or she instinctively reacts to new experiences and people appreciate the richness of your child's emotional life, and help your child thrive in the outside world For every parent who has ever looked at a child's behavior and thought What is he trying to tell me?,Child Senseshows you how to find the answer.

Author Biography

Priscilla J. Dunstan is an internationally recognized parenting expert who has traveled around the world observing parents and children for her research. As the creator of a revolutionary infant-cry classification system, part of which is featured in the Dunstan Baby Language DVDs, she appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today show, and several other popular U.S. television programs. Her sound advice has also appeared in articles that have run in Parenting, Baby Talk, and Women’s World. A native Australian, Dunstan established her renowned parenting and family clinic, the Priscilla Dunstan Research Center, in Sydney. She has since relocated and now lives in Los Angeles, where she educates parents, health professionals, and academics from her new counseling center. She is the mother of a ten-year-old son.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. vii
Introductionp. xiii
You and Your Child
Discovering the Key to the Sense Typesp. 3
Identifying Your Child's Sense Modep. 28
Identifying Your Own Sense Modep. 45
The Four Senses
The Tactile Childp. 63
The Auditory Childp. 109
The Visual Childp. 160
The Taste/Smell Childp. 205
Managing Your Child Under Stressp. 249
A Final Notep. 287
Acknowledgmentsp. 289
Indexp. 291
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


Chapter One

Discovering the Key to the Sense Types  

During the months of pregnancy, many of us fantasized about the bond we would soon have with our child. We imagined cooing to each other, holding each other close in a bubble of mutual wonder, fascination, and intimacy. Even before our baby is born, we are able to bring to life a deep love for that child. Yet after the child does finally arrive and is in our arms for the first time, this lovely imaginary bubble often bursts all too soon. We find ourselves faced with the seemingly incomprehensible cries and needs of a baby we have difficulty soothing, and sometimes with something even more disturbing: a feeling of complete incompetence about our ability to take care of this new life we have brought into the world.  

I know this feeling of uncertainty intimately. Before I became a mother, I imagined that blissful state with my soon-to-be-born son. At the time, my partner and I had moved out into the countryside on a piece of land with hills, horses, and a great expanse of sky. We had dreamed about having an idyllic life close to nature, where we would raise our child free of the stresses of the city or suburbia. But life after Tom's arrival was quite different from what I'd imagined. My country refuge began to seem like a trap. With Tom's father both working a lot and traveling overseas regularly, I found myself quite isolated and alone. My baby cried incessantly, and instead of feeling blissful, I went through months of muddled bewilderment, frustration, and self-doubt. I tried to soothe Tom by rocking him, nursing him, and taking him for walks. He would cry some more, and I would give him a warm bath or sing to him. Once I even tried doing some simple yoga movements while holding him, hoping that the rhythms of my motion and my breathing would calm him. Nothing I did seemed to work, and I was growing more and more upset-almost frightened.  

Unbeknownst to me, Tom was in a constant and intense state of physical agitation due to colic, which was the reason behind the long periods of nonstop crying and his inability to respond to soothing. Compounding my misery over my inconsolable baby was my own suffering from horrible migraines, which often left me visually impaired. There were times during this stressful period when I literally could not see my baby. Day by day, my confidence in my ability to take care of my child dwindled, leaving me unsure of what to do and truly worried about whether I was up to the enormous job of motherhood. However, it was thanks to my migraines that I stumbled across a partial solution to Tom's distress. When I had the migraines there were times when I couldn't eat anything, with the unexpected result that Tom's issues with gas and intestinal discomfort actually lessened. This led me in a roundabout way to the discovery that what I ate had a big effect on my baby. When I began looking at my eating habits I realized that dairy products were the staples of my diet, and that the cheese and yogurt I liked so much were making Tom sick. It turned out that Tom was suffering from colic and reflux, greatly aggravated by his allergic reaction to the lactose in my breast milk from any kind of dairy I had ingested.

  But my diet was just part of the problem. When I stopped eating dairy, Tom's reflux did decrease dramatically, but he was still very fussy, unable to stay asleep for long, and unresponsive to any of the calming tactics I tried during his long bouts of crying. The next stage in my journey to discovering how to help my child began with a strength that I never dreamed would come to my rescue as a parent: my ability to listen.  

My acute sense of hearing is in part due to my very early exposure to music. My mother started my musical training before I was even born, by playing classical music while I was still in her womb. Then, as soon as I was physically able, she introduced

Excerpted from Child Sense: From Birth to Age 5, How to Use the 5 Senses to Make Sleeping, Eating, Dressing and Other Everyday Activities Easier While Strengthening Your Bond with Child by Priscilla J. Dunstan
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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