Sometimes you know for sure when a sincere thank you is in order – when someone has contributed to your life – sometimes when you don’t even know that individual personally.
I feel that way about Dr. T.Berry Brazelton, internationally revered pediatrician, author, baby whisperer, who died this week at the age of 99.
When Jodi, our Director at The Parenting Place, stopped me in the hall to pass on the news of his death, it was universally significant because to parents everywhere, to other physicians, to those of us who work, value, and believe in the strength of parents and children, Dr. Brazelton has led the way.
Dr. Brazelton’s first of many books was Infants and Mothers and came out in 1969, the year our daughter was born. So you could say – Dr. Brazelton has been with me personally on a long, positive and enlightening journey as a mother, a teacher, and a parent educator.
It is from Dr. Brazelton’s research and lifetime work with infants that The Parenting Place is able to offer support and education to parents of infants through our New Born Observation Program.
The NBO is a set of observations designed to help parents observe their infant and understand and appreciate their baby’s uniqueness, needs, and personality from the very beginning. The Parenting Place has several staff members who have been trained to do NBOs with new babies and their parents.
Dr. Brazelton’s belief that parents need support at least as much as they need advice has resonated with me throughout my years working with parents. His belief in looking at the child’s behavior and discovering what that behavior is telling us has opened the eyes, the hearts, and the responses of many parents and caregivers.
And his advice to parents to relax, to love and enjoy their child and themselves is simply refreshing.
So I appreciate you, Dr. Brazelton, for your contribution to me personally and to all the parents and babies and children who have benefited from your life’s gentle work and dedication to love and understanding.