A Good Start in Life

Understanding Your Child's Brain and Behavior from Birth to Age 6

Norbert Herschkowitz M.D., and Elinore Chapman Herschkowitz

Paperback • $13.95 • 314 pages 
ISBN: 978-0972383059
Published September 2004

Also available as an e-book

Newly updated with the latest information and added material, A Good Start in Life covers how children learn to live together in family and society from birth to age six. Dr. Herschkowitz and his wife, Elinore Chapman Herschkowitz, explain how brain development shapes a child's personality and behavior. Staging their narrative at each year from birth to age six, the authors cover a host of social development issues, including appropriate rule-setting, development of a child's moral sense, temperament, language development, playing, aggression, impulse control, and empathy.
New topics in this edition are prematurity, traumatic events, and children and TV. Updated with recent research are child care, language, and the effect of mother's stress on the fetus. The popular features of the hardcover are retained in this edition: a Q & A at the end of each chapter and charts and brain maps showing milestones in a child's development of various abilities.
This important book for parents and others who care for young children weaves up-to-the-minute psychology and biological knowledge into a seamless tapestry.

Foreword by Jerome Kagan 

Part I

Getting Ready

1Life in the Womb 
 The Brain Takes Shape as It Goes to Work 
 First Movements 
 Feeling My Way Around: The Sense of Touch 
 Can You Hear Me in There? 
 The View from Inside 
 What's for Dinner? 
 Learning in the Womb? 
 Prenatal Stimulation? 
 Does a Mother's Stress Affect the Baby? 
 Signs of Individuality 
 Ready to Go 
 To Think About 

 The Brainstem's Big Moment 
 First Things First 
 The Newborn's Senses 
 Muscles in Action 
 A Personalized Nervous System 
 Ready to Learn 
 An Interest in People 
 Born Too Soon 
 To Think About 

Part 2

The First Year

One Candle for Emily 

3Getting Started 
 Less Crying and Irritability 
 Rock-a-bye Baby 
 A Welcome Relief 
 First Visit to the Doctor 
 How Different Babies Can Be! 
 Early Signs of Temperament 
 Temperament and Parenting 
 To Think About 

 A World of New Impressions 
 "Make Way for Baby!" 
 Getting from here to there 
 Memory and Learning 
 The Appearance of Fear 
 To Think About 

5Comfort and Communication 
 Song Without Words 
 From Sounds to Words 
 To Think About 

Part 3

The Second Year

Two Candles for Emily 

 Getting Around and Getting Into 
 The Language Explosion 
 To Think About 

7Me and You 
 It's Me! 
 How Others Think and Feel 
 A Budding Idea of Right and Wrong 
 Linking the Hemispheres 
 Toddlers and Temperament 
 To Think About 

Part 4

Three to Six Years

Six Candles for Emily 

8Gaining Competence 
 Mobility and Dexterity 
 From Scribbling to Writing 
 Executive Functions 
 The Starring Role of the Prefrontal Cortex 
 Memory Has Different Forms 
 The Cortical Areas Communicate 
 The Big "M": Motivation 
 To Think About 

9Living Together 
 Belonging to a Group 
 Taking Over the Controls 
 The Hemispheres Work Together 
 To Think About 

10Paths to Personality 
 Gifts in the Cradle: Multiple Intelligences 
 To Think About 

11Ten Guideposts for Parents 
Maps and Milestones 
 The Cerebral Cortex 
 Beneath the Cortex 
 Nerve Cells Make Connections 
 From Perception to Action 
 Gross Motor Milestones 
 Fine Motor Milestones 
 Language Milestones 
 Play and Daily Life Milestones 


"The straightforward language would suit practitioners who want to extend their knowledge... There is much valuable material in this book."
    –Nursery World

"This delightfully written book is not merely a how-to book, but a book about understanding how a child truly grows."
    –Guy McKhann, M.D., Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine