Danièle Brun

Disruptive Children Publication date : September 27, 2007

Freud once said that whatever parents do bringing up their children, they always do something wrong. This book explains why, and tells parents what to do to avoid making mistakes.

Based on a wide range of clinical examples, so each reader can find a case mirroring his or her own, Danièle Brun argues that to construct themselves children need a private space in which to look for and find a solution to the problems that are posed to (or imposed upon) them. This space is the plasticity of childhood. Yet parents go out of their way to trample on it, in an effort to make their children adapt to the demands of society, school, good manners, and shared values. Parents' success in accomplishing this task depends on their ability to silence the child that is within them — the child whose presence would grant them the necessary plasticity for resilience.

In this book, Danièle Brun reveals an exceptional gift for empathy with children. She gives psychoanalysis a new goal: to rediscover one's childhood, in order to be reconciled with it and to recover one's lost plasticity.

The author explains why parents fail in bringing up their children — and tells them how to succeed. She urges them to question themselves and to rediscover their own childhood as a source of strength.

This is an accessible book, free of jargon and theoretical pretensions, resulting from a close examination of clinical cases and of common experiences. Written by an eminent child psychoanalyst, it opens new avenues in psychoanalysis.

Danièle Brun is a psychoanalyst and the author of La Passion dans l'amitié. She teaches psychoanalysis and medicine at the University of Paris-VII-Denis Diderot.