Kiss Me! How to raise your children with love was written in defence of children by popular Spanish pediatrician Carlos González.
In an interview that appeared in The Guardian when Kiss Me! was first published, González was described as a pediatrician “who wants parents to break the rules.”
González wrote Kiss Me! after an incident in his clinic brought home to him the extent of his power: the power of the position he occupies as a health professional with authority over parents.
One day, as he was chatting to the receptionist in his waiting room, a baby there began to cry, but his mother did not respond to it. When the baby continued to cry, González spoke to the mother, “What an angry baby, I think he needs a cuddle.” The mother immediately picked up her child and comforted him. She then turned to González and said, “But you pediatricians say it isn’t good to pick them up.” It struck González that calming a crying baby was not a part of any doctor’s medical training, just as other aspects of child rearing such as starting solids and co-sleeping are also not covered by the science of medicine taught to medical students either. These are matters that most people have strong feelings about and which are mostly informed by background and personal experience.
… where a mother is at liberty to look after her child as she sees fit, the baby cries very little and when he does it pains her and she feels compassion (“Poor little thing, what’s the matter?”). However, when they prohibit you from picking him up, sleeping with him, breastfeeding him, or comforting him, the child cries even more, and the mother is helpless in the face of his crying, and her response becomes angry and aggressive (“What’s the matter with him now!”).
In contrast to the many ‘expert’ theories that advocate obsessive routines and excessive discipline, González believes babies are not tyrants that are out to manipulate their weak parents, rather they deserve to be treated lovingly and with respect in order to thrive.
This bestseller includes chapters addressing why children are the way they are and why that’s not a bad thing, myths regarding their sleep, how parents can approach rewards and punishment and what is “quality time.”