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.