Select one of the keywords
The Soul of the Child: Nurturing the Divine Identity of our Children    by Michael Gurian order for
Soul of the Child
by Michael Gurian
Order:  USA  Can
Atria, 2002 (2002)
Hardcover, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Gurian begins his analysis of the 'soul of the child' with a memory of a family visit to his children's frail great-grandmother in a nursing home. His 8-year-old asks that tough question that taxes every parent - what will happen to Great-grandma's body and soul when she dies - and the author has an epiphany when his 11-year-old chips in to say that the 'soul is made of light'. He goes on to challenge us to think of our children as 'souls', and elaborates on that perspective through the book.

I enjoyed and appreciated this spiritual perspective on child development, and was interested in discussions of various sciences relating to the human body. However, the assertion of proven relationships between neuroscience and the soul, while philosophically intriguing, was a definite stretch. This made The Soul of the Child an unusual read for me - I liked where it started, firmly agreed with its conclusions on the importance of children to a civilization, but balked at many of the arguments in between.

Taken as spiritual philosophy, it is fascinating. For example, Gurian explains empathy by talking of emotions as 'sympathetic vibrations of light', and discusses the development of evil, in relationship to neuroscience and dark areas of the brain. Forceful arguments are made about the impact of 'insecure attachment' in childhood; on the importance of helping kids develop a 'sense of mission'; and for the benefits of a greater involvement of extended families in child-rearing.

Why is it important to take this perspective of 'the hidden treasure of a child'? The author answers his own question by telling us that 'The depth of our efforts as parents depends on it.' I recommend The Soul of the Child as a reminder of the wonder and value of children, and of the importance of filling their lives with light.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews