If (only) John Bowlby was alive…

“It’s like the Pope versus Jesus. Jesus had a good idea, but papal politics were not good ideas. I wish you could have met John Bowlby! He was an aristocrat, for goodness’ sake, born in Manchester Square [in central London], brought up by nannies.” Bowlby drew failures of attachment from examples in his own life, and categorically did not see poor attachment as a problem associated with poverty. “Of course, everything about attachment is very difficult because it’s so emotional. We’re talking about ourselves, we’re talking about ourselves as babies, we’re talking about ourselves as parents. It’s debased and stupefied, really, but that’s daily politics.” 

Fascinating quotation from Dr Sebastian Kraemer, who suggests that we rely on or misuse neuroscience  because “Somehow the emotional and cognitive effects of parenting aren’t interesting enough”.

In this interesting if potentially inflammatory article Zoe Williams explores the complexities of class, deprivation and neglect, suggesting that scrutiny of child treatment does not extend to the middle classes.

full article here:

Dr Bruce Perry on early intervention, a change in how we view childhood?


Dr Bruce Perry, Child Trauma Therapist and Neuroscientist Addresses MPs in the House of Commons – 1 April 2014


Report by Martin Pirongs


I brushed past a vacant looking Ed Milliband as I entered Committee Room No 5 to listen to Bruce Perry’s talk on Early Intervention. Here in a 50 second nutshell is the core of his topic:



Of course, it was backed up by all kinds of data and neuroscience, and easy American humour.


In the introduction, Graham Allen MP, chairman of Early Intervention Foundation which sponsored the meeting – http://www.eif.org.uk/ – remarked that although suffering from jet-lag, Bruce hadn’t missed a beat since arriving in London two days ago. Bruce responded by saying that he had missed one beat in particular, with the British press, asking us if we had seen the papers with his reference to ADHD.




During his talk he commented that something is not right when in Texas there is a new State Department with a billion and a half dollar budget and a mandate that is to protect children from their parents!


Business leaders are leading the way in Early Intervention research and development in the USA because they understand its economic significance, not only for the taxpayer but also because they are concerned about where their skilled workforce of the future is going to come from.


The presentation begun with the quote from the Anglican theologian William Inge

‘The proper time to influence the character of a child is about 100 years before he is born.’


To a room with many MPs in attendance Bruce ended by saying that the change should be all or nothing, not just something that is tinkered with around the edges.

He proposed that whoever is prepared to shift resources and make the investment, then the returns are proven and with it the opportunity to transform the world. He suggested that Scotland had made a good start!

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/215889/0057733.pdf http://bigblogscotland.org.uk/2013/04/18/tseifawards/)


1 April 2014

focused on the wrong thing…

“There’s one secret to a child growing up successfully. That child has to be the apple of one person’s eye. Children need general care, but they need specific care from somebody who cares about them” . Psychotherapist and policy adviser Indra Adnan on a potentially upsetting development from Brent Council: providing 24-hour childcare. Rather than create living wages and stable work hours, do we really want to see small children staying away from home around the clock? Full article here