Modern Childhood > Books > Detoxing Childhood

Sue Palmer - Detoxing Childhood

Detoxing Childhood: what parents need to know to raise bright, balanced children
(Orion, £7.99)

Detoxing Childhood was written in response to parents’ requests for a quick, easy-to-read ‘self-help’ book dealing with the issues raised in Toxic Childhood. It’s based on the advice provided by experts during many years of research into the effects of modern life on child development and covers:

  • The vital importance of real food and real play for children’s development
  • Why sleep is essential to learning – and how to ensure children get enough of it
  • Childcare and education – what works best for different age-groups
  • Protecting children from aggressive marketing and the excesses of celebrity culture
  • The dangers (and benefits) of growing up in a multi-media ‘electronic village’.

Buy Detoxing Childhood here

Reviews of Detoxing Childhood

Sue Palmer began a national debate with Toxic Childhood…the follow-up, Detoxing Childhood, is a practical easy-to-follow guide about what children really need. Invaluable for parents, this book is also great for teachers and educators.

Child Education

Relax, chill out: doing easy, everyday tasks is the key to happy families. A comprehensive guide to defusing the negative effects of ‘toxic childhood syndrome’.

The Times

A compact accessible and research-based ‘bible’ in how to ‘detox childhood’… an ideal, if not essential, read for parents and all those working with children.

Early Years Educator (EYE)

A careful drawing together of much research as well as comment from parents, giving lots of tips on successfully parenting children in a society driven by consumerism and competition…an invaluable resource for all those working with children, with groups of parents in any situation and for community leaders.

Home and Family

Do buy this immensely readable book. It stands out in analysis and practical advice. Where Sue Palmer excels is in her role as counsellor… she is clear-sighted yet not prescriptive….She explains children’s needs and stages of development and, without saying so, leads us to the obvious solutions.

Time for Parenting

A chilling insight into childhood in contemporary Britain…Palmer combines her personal experience with recent research findings to present a picture of the modern child’s condition. However, instead of just criticising the current state of affairs, she suggests how positive changes can be made, both in the home and through reform of national policies…It is understanding and provides warmth, wisdom and encouragement for parents.

Children and Young People Now

Page turner… it offers a detox workout to change family life for the better.

Junior Magazine

‘Refreshingly free of psychobabble, Sue Palmer’s assessment of the problems facing young people and the solutions on offer ought to be available to all parents on the NHS…. An optimistic and realistic attempt to stop the rot of the past few years, to regain control of our family lives and thereby give children a better start.’

Western Morning News

Excellent and practical advice … spot on.


Parenthood can be the most exciting and rewarding time in one’s life but it can also be the most demanding and challenging. It is a sad fact that Britain’s teenagers have more problems than those in any other country in Europe. So what is going wrong? Why is there such an increase in childhood depression? Why are more and more young people suffering from stress? Why are behavioural problems on the increase? Why is there a rise in substance abuse, violence and self-harm amongst young people?

Sue Palmer in Toxic Childhood explored the pressures and demands which affect children’s and young people’s emotional, social and physical development. In this text, the sequel, she offers a range of insights, ideas and practical advice showing how negative influences on children’s development can be defused. Every parent and every teacher should have this clear-sighted, immensely readable and accessible book to hand.

Gervase Phinn, author and former school inspector

This book has to be a ‘must’ for all parents of younger children in the twenty first century. In a fast-paced world that is hard enough for adults to keep abreast with… ‘Detoxing Childhood’ provides a refreshing antidote to many negative aspects of modern living, whist honouring many time-honoured and healthy child-rearing traditions. This really is a ‘back to basics’ look at unravelling the many ways in which parents can provide a ‘proper’ childhood to their cherished little ones…If the advice in this book is followed by the majority of parents and carers, what a happy and healthy younger generation we will have.

Jenny Mosley, education consultant and founder of Quality Circle Time