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How Much Is Too Much? by Jean Clarke

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WHAT IS NURTURE?

All the Ways We Care

THE PROVERB WARNS THAT YOU SHOULD NOT BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU. BUT MAYBE YOU SHOULD, IF IT PREVENTS YOU FROM FEEDING YOURSELF.

—Thomas Szasz, psychiatrist

NURTURE IS THE NAME OF ALL THE WAYS WE CARE for others and ourselves. Children must be nurtured, or they do not survive. They must have food, clothing, protection, touch, recognition, and love. In this section we will consider the difference between true nurture and overnurture, the too much nurture that can smother a child’s growth.

TRUE NURTURE

Nurture is half of the parenting sandwich—the half without which we die. The other half is structure, ...

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