The Incredible Journey of Childhood
“You will no longer see your children in the same way.” – Christophe Andre, author of Feelings and Moods
At the age of five or six, something incredible happens: a transition wherein children become aware of themselves, of the passage of time and their own mortality. This moment is what psychologist Philippe Presles calls the “leap of consciousness,” and it is what defines us as humans. In The Incredible Journey of Childhood, Dr. Presles explores this transformation and reveals how a deep understanding of the process is crucial for parents to help their children grow up happy and healthy.
Unpacking this pivotal moment, Dr. Presles examines the six factors in child development of which all parents should be aware, and which happen around this “leap of consciousness”: the grasp of language and internal dialogue; the surfacing of memories; the recognition of mortality; the discovery of self-image; the awareness of relationships with others; and the understanding of good and bad. Through concrete examples, Dr. Presles offers practical advice to parents in how to recognize and work through this seminal phase in a child’s development. Drawing on research from thinkers ranging from Darwin and Freud to Jean Piaget and Oliver Sacks, Presles’s humanist and optimistic approach to child development and parenting presents crucial steps in a clear and accessible way. It is essential reading for any parent.