In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids’ Inner Wildness

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Chris Mercogliano
Beacon Press
201 pages. $24.95.

A guide on how to allow children to safely experience “authentic” childhoods. The beginning chapters analyze how, according to the author, contemporary child-rearing has left kids without a sense of wonder or a desire to explore life. Developmental problems such as low self-confidence and lack of creativity are cited as reasons that adults should encourage children to freely explore themselves and their surroundings, instead of burdening them with boundaries and rules. The later chapters focus on how over-structured childhoods can negatively influence the transition into adulthood and the ways caretakers can promote a better transition by encouraging wildness in the early childhood years. (617) 948-6582,