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Jean Liedloff , who has died aged 84, was the author of The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost , in which she outlined her belief that babies should be continuously carried by, and never separated from, their mothers, until such time as they are able to crawl away by themselves.
She advocated co-sleeping and on-demand breastfeeding and believed that children should be central to their parents' world, but not the centre of it. Many credit her with being the mother of attachment parenting. Liedloff was born in New York and grew up in Manhattan. As a child, she was attracted to Tarzan and jungles. Tarzan represented a pure being.
She modelled for a while, and wrote. On her first trip abroad, to France, and then Italy, she was introduced to a "blond, blue-eyed count called Eurico", a man whom Liedloff recalled was "so successful with women, he had become extremely conceited and I would have nothing to do with him". However, when he announced he was going to the South American jungle to search for diamonds and asked her to go with him, with just 20 minutes' warning before the train left, she went, "jumping on the train as it was pulling out of the station".
Liedloff spent five months in the jungle. She was to return four more times and at one point contemplated living there. She observed, most famously, the Yequana tribe of Venezuela. Tall, blonde, beautiful and dressed in a leopardskin-patterned bikini, she cut an incongruous figure in the jungle. She seemed completely devoid of all vanity and rarely talked about herself.
After her fifth trip to Venezuela, she decided to write The Continuum Concept, which was published in and later translated into more than two dozen languages. The more she learned about the Yequana people, the more she grew disdainful of childcare experts in the west: "In the jungle, every man, every woman, every child knows how to take care of babies … Very small children are trusted to take care of infants because, five minutes ago, they were babies themselves Here we are, great big grownups reading books about how to take care of babies.
I'd be embarrassed to admit to the Indians that our women don't know how to take care of their children until they read instructions written in a book by a man they've never met. Liedloff was a founding member of the Ecologist magazine. For a while she lived in London, where she lectured on The Continuum Concept.
She never married, nor had children. I was due to interview her in Her publicity people asked me to fly out to California. It would be madness, I explained, to fly out to meet the author of The Continuum Concept, with all she stood for, and leave my own young, breastfed daughter behind for days. Liedloff, then in her 80s, agreed, and offered to fly to London to meet me. In the event, she did not make it, as the result of a knee injury.
She longed to be on Oprah. Liedloff felt that we had lost our trust in our children and ultimately ourselves. Parents had forgotten how powerful they are to young children and how easy it is to make them feel as if there is something wrong with them, even with a look.
If my sister and I were talking at night when we were supposed to be asleep, she would open the door and peer in at us with this hurt, disappointed expression, and then close it again. I would rather she'd beaten me with a bullwhip. Topics Parents and parenting. Family Children Venezuela Americas obituaries. Reuse this content.
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The Continuum Concept introduces the idea that in order to achieve optimal physical, mental and emotional development, human beings - especially babies - require the kind of instinctive nurturing as practiced by our ancient relatives. Author Jean Liedloff spent two and-a-half years in the jungle deep in the heart of South America living with indigenous tribes and was astounded at how differently children are raised outside the Western world. She came to the realisation that essential child-rearing techniques such as touch, trust and community have been undermined in modern times, and in this book suggests practical ways to regain our natural well-being, for our children and ourselves. Jean Liedloff has written for the Sunday Times and was a founding member of the Ecologist magazine. She lectures and broadcasts around the world to students, doctors, parents, psychotherapists and the general public. She lives in London. For the latest books, recommendations, offers and more.
The continuum concept is an idea, coined by Jean Liedloff in her book The Continuum Concept , that human beings have an innate set of expectations which Liedloff calls the continuum that our evolution as a species has designed us to meet in order to achieve optimal physical, mental, and emotional development and adaptability. According to Liedloff, in order to achieve this level of development, young humans especially babies require the kind of experience to which our species adapted during the long process of our evolution by natural selection. Liedloff suggests that when certain evolutionary expectations are not met as infants and toddlers, compensation for these needs will be sought, by alternate means, throughout life, resulting in many forms of mental and social disorders. Liedloff's recommendations fit in more generally with evolutionary psychology , attachment theory , and the philosophy known as the Paleolithic lifestyle : optimizing well-being by living more like our hunter-gatherer ancestors, who Liedloff refers to as "evolved" humans, since their lifeways developed through natural selection by living in the wild. It was chosen [ by whom? From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Categories : Human development.
The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost
She is the aunt of writer Janet Hobhouse ,  and is represented by the character Constance in Hobhouse's book "The Furies. Born in New York City in , as a teenager she attended the Drew Seminary for Young Women and began studying at Cornell University , but began her expeditions before she could graduate. During a diamond-hunting expedition to Venezuela , she came into contact with an indigenous people named the Yequana. Over time she became fascinated with the Yequana , and made a decision to return to Venezuela to live with them.
Jean Liedloff obituary
Jean Liedloff , who has died aged 84, was the author of The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost , in which she outlined her belief that babies should be continuously carried by, and never separated from, their mothers, until such time as they are able to crawl away by themselves. She advocated co-sleeping and on-demand breastfeeding and believed that children should be central to their parents' world, but not the centre of it. Many credit her with being the mother of attachment parenting. Liedloff was born in New York and grew up in Manhattan. As a child, she was attracted to Tarzan and jungles. Tarzan represented a pure being.