Kiss Me! is a book written in defence of children. In response to the many so-called expert theories that advocate the use of obsessive routines and excessive discipline, Dr. Carlos González – renowned paediatrician and author of My Child Won’t Eat! – advocates raising children based on love, respect and freedom.
González believes that children are good, selfless, generous, honest, sociable and understanding and deserve all the love we can give them. A bestseller in Spain, now published for the first time in English, Kiss me! How to raise your children with love offers a guide to ethical parenting.
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Posted by Tamara on 21st Nov 2012
I’d heard a lot of good things about ‘Kiss Me’ so was looking forward to reading the book. Gonzalez writes as a paediatrician and father of three children – a refreshing change from some of the more familiar, so-called, ‘parenting experts’. This book does not offer fail-safe solutions to those oft-repeated parenting questions: how can I get my child to sleep through the night / stop crying / sleep in their own bed / etc? – rather Gonzalez examines why babies and small children behave the way they do – survival being a key reason – and reassures parents that their children are, simply, normal. At the root of this book is the belief, or rather truth, that children are born good, honest, generous and parents should nurture this.
This is a good book to dip in and out of as ‘issues’ arise – sub-chapters are short and Gonzalez gives plenty of real-life examples. I have no doubt that I’ll refer to this again and again over the coming years.
Posted by Kate Curnock on 10th May 2012
Kiss Me! is a book with a good heart. It is an enjoyable and easy read whose central message is one which encourages parents to trust their instincts and not allow anyone's views/theories to get in the way of their love of their children. A lot of the book is given over to debunking theories the author does not agree with. I would have preferred less of this and more expansion on the benefits of the theories he does advocate. The book promotes a gentle cooperative style of parenting and would, I think inspire confidence.
Posted by Chrissie Wade, RM BSc Hons Midwifery on 8th May 2012
Kiss me! is not an easy step by step guide to parenting, but a conceptual approach based on instinctive parental love and biological nurturing. Take away the health advisors and childbirth gurus, all offering ways to help parents to achieve the perfect routine and well- behaved little angels, and bring on Dr Carlos Gonzales. He draws much of his concept from attachment theorist Bowlby and also from his obvious disdain for fascistic and ritualised parenting. I particularly appreciate his empathic explanation of the needs of a child and traditional assumptions of ‘unreasonable behaviour’. What is ethically refreshing is his profound insight from the child’s perspective. The essence of his stance is that if you pick-up and cuddle your kids when they cry, you won’t spoil them. Indulging children with affection will on the other hand satisfy their natural need for emotional and physical parental contact. What he offers is the most natural approach to being a fulfilled guilt-free parent of well-balanced children. This book is not however a panacea for parental bliss. In fact he suggests demand breastfeeding at all times and advocates co-sleeping with your children. The natural demands of some babies would test many parents to the brink of sanity if they were to be available on demand 24-7. What he doesn’t do, is tell us how. This is not a guide, it is a concept. How can we practically incorporate these ideals in to our busy lives? In our modern world, where the combined incomes of both parents are necessary to exist, compromises on family life are inevitable. He criticises many pedagogic theorists of emotional blackmail, but I fear that following his theory may be guilt-tripped too; as parents try hard to give, give and give a little more, and find it just impossibly difficult to be all things to everyone. However I have no doubt that his overall concept is sound. That is, in a perfect world. Time invested in loving, nurturing and embracing your children at every realistic opportunity will be rewarded with loving respectful individuals in the longer term. On the contrary, programme children into submissive behaviour with strict routines and they will cry more and become attention-seeking infants as they search for the love and contact they so desperately crave. Umm, I think we knew that anyway? Much as the title wouldn’t catch my eye on the shelf, I really have to admit, if you are a parent or about to become one, this is a book definitely worth reading. I also believe it is a necessary read for midwives, health visitors and others involved in giving balanced childcare advice.
Posted by Jen Tonkin on 15th Apr 2012
What a fantastic book! It is written in 2 sections, the 1st section looks at babies and toddlers built in behaviours: why the cry when they are put down, why they demand attention, why they don’t sleep through the night and so on. Gonzalez's points really make you think differently about the way that you react and "manage" different situations. He reminds you that a lot of things are built into our baby’s genes and that crying has allowed them to survive and reproduce for thousands and thousands of years. Gonzalez is a great advocate for breastfeeding and co-sleeping with lots of information and statistics on hand for support. The 2nd section tears apart other authors and “guru’s” advice on different areas of parenting, ie. Time out, potty training, routine. This section was really great however it is a book originally written in Spanish and it would be great if it could have included theories from UK guru’s as it would then appeal to a much larger audience I feel. The writing style within this book is great, chatty, opinionated, open and thought provoking. The chapters are short, so easy to read with only short spaces of time available. A fantastic inspiring and empowering book that urges you to go with your gut instinct and not listen to anyone else! Another book to add to any Mum To Be's MUST READ list!
Posted by Lisa Raynes on 15th Apr 2012
This has been a fantastic read for me. I have always tried to have the upmost respect for children and am trying to raise my own daughter with love and consideration. This book has both confirmed some of my current views and mothering style but also gave me some food for thought. The author uses clever examples and anecdotes to help you understand how certain child rearing practices can affect a child both in a positive and a negative way.I will definitely be recommending this book onto all my mummy friends, both current and future ones to hopefully steer them towards the more desirable parenting styles described by Carlos and to steer them away from the other "so called child experts" who advise parents on more severe strategies to raise their children.
Posted by Jil Manning on 6th Apr 2012
Thank goodness for Carlos González's book ‘Kiss me!’ It provides a warm and reassuring balance to the outpourings of the sleep-training ‘baby-guru’ ‘leave your baby to cry’ type authors. So many parenting books start out by putting a barrier between parent and child, setting out the problem in terms of a battle between opposing sides, to be won by the cleverer and more persistent warrior. Gonzalez takes his time with analogies, evidence and examples to provide a new kind of understanding of why little children behave as they do. From this new standpoint, parents can understand intellectually and feel with their hearts that a different, sometimes opposite approach is needed. Conditioning and culture have clouded our ability to act instinctively like other mammals. The very reason that our parenting can cause such deep angst is that our culture doesn’t support what our instincts tell us. González hands the power back to instinctive, loving mothering and parenting. This is a book for anyone who feels too judged and restricted by society’s opinion on their parenting to do what their heart is telling them. ’Kiss me!’ won’t tell you what to do, it will set you free to parent from the heart. Be prepared for this book to illuminate areas of your own life where, for one reason or another, you may not have received the loving care a helpless and dependent being deserves. What makes this book unique among the usual run of instruction manuals and step-by-step guides for parenting is its ability to change the reader through understanding and compassion into a person who has permission to wholly love and respect their child in every area of his behaviour.
Posted by Rachel on 6th Apr 2012
I have mixed feelings about this book. It was a very interesting book to read, however I disagreed strongly with about half of the author's views on how to raise a child. Much of the book is opinion, not always based on sound evidence. The author appears to have observed a few children (possibly his own) and relies on this to advise the reader. I found the tone and philosophy quite old fashioned and a little patronising at times, particularly when the author made assumptions such as mothers wanting to be with their babies 24 hours a day. This is a modern world, and a variety of humans inhabit it. We are not all the same, nor are we like lions or rabbits! I would have liked to read a more balanced argument - the author is quite selective in the evidence he does present, and appears to select only evidence supporting his view, along with his own opinions. For example there is a section on co-sleeping which is very biased towards the benefits, despite the large amount of research suggesting the contrary. Having said all this, a lot of the author's opinions and views were interesting and gave me food for thought. I would recommend this book if you are interested in the subject and prepared to read with an open mind, making your own mind up about what you want to take from it.
Posted by chloe newport on 6th Apr 2012
When I first saw this book I will admit I did not think it would be my kind of book but, as the age old saying goes 'one must never judge a book by its cover!' Kiss Me! has really opened my eyes with regards to how I parent my toddler. On so many occasions in the past my partner and I have failed to see from my two year old sons point of view particularly with regards to sharing with other children. My sister who has no children yet flicked through the book and remarked that on every page that she stopped there seemed to be something that spoke to her and that she felt gave her a greater understanding of a childs mind! I would highly recommend this book to all prospective parents!
Posted by Rachael Gautreau on 6th Apr 2012
In short, this book is fantastic, simply laid out, easily picked up/put down (for those busy parents who only have a snatch of time to read) and very clear in it's convictions. There are no hidden messages to confuse or trip you up, no crazy theories on feeding or sleep training. Dr Carlos tells it exactly how he sees it, simple. His message is: love your children, respect your children, show consideration for your children and they will grow up to treat others in the same way. Being a first time mum i wanted to do everything right, i read lots of parenting books, baby whisperer, no cry sleep solution, i even perused Gina Ford. I found over time that none of these contained anything i could relate to in my own parenting style or wanted to implement. I was tired of hearing how babies manipulate their parents or should be ignored at night. This book is written in favour of children not parents. It explains in simple terms why children are how they are, why they want to spend every waking minute attached to their caregivers, why they need bonds, why they cry and has a chapter on other theories and what Dr Carlos thinks of them. It won't tell you how to get yourself into a routine, or what to feed your child, in fact it's not an instruction manual for parenting compared to most on the market. The main message is love, respect and consideration. In this day and age it's a shame someone had to write a book reminding parents to love their children but with the current western culture of 'getting back to your old life' following the birth of a child i'm glad this one was published. Don't just read this if all other parenting books have failed you, read it because you love your children and know that you're doing a good job.
Posted by Karen Hall on 12th Mar 2012
Dr Carlos González sets out his stall very clearly in the first pages of his book: This book assumes all children are essentially good, that their emotional needs are important, and that we as parents owe them love, respect and attention [p13] He demonstrates this last point over and over again, by taking the statements of various childcare experts and graphically substituting the word ‘child’ with ‘wife’ or ‘colleague’ or ‘prisoner,’ revealing shocking double standards in our expectations and our treatment of children. The book is roughly divided into two main chapters, the first of which presents children’s behaviour in terms of survival, adaptation, and genetic predisposition. González reframes disobedience as instinct, explaining for example a toddler’s preference to be carried rather than walk as a deep instinctive drive for safety and security. The other half of the book is given over to demolishing various parenting theories including sleep training, therapeutic crying, and smacking. It is particularly gratifying to read his meticulous critique of Dr Christopher Green, that unpleasant advocate of smacking, whose basic assumption is that children are all ungrateful tyrants in need of taming. González’ style is ranty in the extreme, and occasionally it is hard to tell if he is being sarcastic. This book gave me a lot to reflect on with regard to the way I talk to new parents and try to help them understand their babies’ behaviour. But however much I enjoyed this most arid humour, and however valid his premise and instructive his examples, I am wondering whether I would recommend Kiss Me! to new or expectant parents. González writes with great empathy for children, but much less for parents; who, he explains, are inevitably confused by woolly and non-evidence based ‘advice’ from authoritative experts. His suggestion to combat this is that all parenting books should state on the cover what the author’s basic philosophy of human nature is. Kiss Me! is an interesting book, and its most useful chapter focuses the mind on understanding, respecting, and empathising with children. Despite his strident tones, this is a very healthy approach to parenting.
Showing reviews 1-10 of 11 | Next