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World-class pediatric surgeon, social scientist, and best-selling author of Thirty Million Words Dr. Dana Suskind returns with a revelatory new look at the neuroscience of early childhood development - and how it can guide us toward a future in which every child has the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
Her prescription for this more prosperous and equitable future, as clear as it is powerful, is more robust support for parents during the most critical years of their children’s development. In her poignant new book, Parent Nation, written with award-winning science writer Lydia Denworth, Dr. Suskind helps parents recognize both their collective identity and their formidable power as custodians of our next generation.
Weaving together the latest science on the developing brain with heart-breaking and relatable stories of families from all walks of life, Dr. Suskind shows that the status quo - scores of parents convinced they should be able to shoulder the enormous responsibility of early childhood care and education on their own - is not only unsustainable, but deeply detrimental to the well-being of children, families, and society.
Anyone looking for a blueprint for how to build a brighter future for our children will find one in Parent Nation. Informed by the science of foundational brain development, as well as history, political science, and the lived experiences of families around the country, this book clearly outlines how society can and should help families meet the developmental needs of their children. Only then can we ensure that all children are able to enjoy the promise of their potential.
"The best thing we can do for our children (and ourselves!) is to heed the call to action in this timely, important and beautiful book. Parent Nation lays out a powerful science-based framework that will lead us to healthier children, happier parents, and stronger communities." (Emily Oster, professor of economics at Brown University and New York Times best-selling author of the three-book series Expecting Better, Cribsheet, and The Family Firm)
"At a time when America seems hopelessly polarized, Dr. Dana Suskind shows us how it is possible to work together across political divides for the wellbeing of our children, our families, and our communities. Filled with poignant stories, clarifying data, and practical proposals, Parent Nation offers a stirring call to action." (Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Professor of History at Calvin University and New York Times best-selling author of Jesus and John Wayne)
"Parent Nation makes clear that a child's first three years of life are a time of unparalleled brain growth, and our public policies need to reflect that reality. Societal supports for parents that begin on a child’s first day of life, when learning begins, are the missing components in our nation's education system. Dr. Suskind's sensible and actionable recommendations illuminate our path to a future where all children are given a sturdy foundation and an opportunity to meet their inherent potential." (Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education and author of How Schools Work)