Lov­ing Every Child: Wis­dom for Parents

Janusz Kor­czak; San­dra Joseph, ed.; Ari Gold­man, fwd.
  • Review
By – March 26, 2012

As Ari Gold­man writes in the for­ward to this love­ly small vol­ume, most peo­ple learn about Janusz Kor­czak at muse­ums com­mem­o­rat­ing the Holo­caust. Kor­czak was born in War­saw in 1878 and had an illus­tri­ous career as a pedi­a­tri­cian there before World War II. He was also a writer, and his dis­arm­ing children’s book, King Matt the First, was as famous in Poland as Alice in Won­der­land is here. He firm­ly believed that adults can learn from chil­dren by lis­ten­ing to them, a rev­o­lu­tion­ary the­o­ry in a time when chil­dren were sup­posed to be seen and not heard. Dur­ing the Holo­caust he took over the Orphans’ Refuge in the War­saw Ghet­to, and it was there he wrote his Ghet­to Diary, short­ly before march­ing with two hun­dred orphans onto a train to cer­tain death at Treblinka. 

Lov­ing Every Child is a book that will make new par­ents relax and expe­ri­enced par­ents smile. I nev­er real­ized that a child is capa­ble of remem­ber­ing so well and of wait­ing so patient­ly,” is one eure­ka quote. Oth­er bits are gems of sol­id advice: When is the prop­er time for a child to start walk­ing? When he does. When should her teeth start cut­ting? When they do. How many hours should a baby sleep? As long as they need to.” For a new par­ent, it is like some­one giv­ing per­mis­sion to exhale. This is a refresh­ing lit­tle book that par­ents will find a great com­fort after end­less debates over sleep sched­ules, eat­ing habits, age appro­pri­ate play­time sug­ges­tions and behav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tions that have inject­ed so much anx­i­ety into mod­ern par­ent­ing. Read­ing Lov­ing Every Child, one real­izes that it’s best not to over think every detail: The eas­i­est way to learn to be a par­ent is to sim­ply lis­ten to your child. 

Sara Leopold Spin­nell is a co-founder of Trav​elu​jah​.com, a web­site that pro­motes Chris­t­ian trav­el to Israel. She lives in New York City with her hus­band and two children.

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