Friday, April 10, 2015

How Toddlers Thrive: What Parents Can Do Today for Children Ages 2-5 to Plant the Seeds of Lifelong Success

I've been through the toddler years four times. There were things in this book that I wish I had understood better back then such as the message that it is not the parents' job to make their toddler happy; their job is to help the toddler find appropriate ways to cope with unhappiness. I also didn't realize how much toddlers resist change and the anxiety it can cause which explains why something as seemingly benign as putting stuffed animals away in a different order than usual can send a three-year-old into a meltdown. To us as adults, it seems no big deal but to a toddler something major has happened and it can be upsetting. I would have been more patient with things like that had I known better how important structure and routine are to toddlers.

I also like that this book is not about permissiveness and lack of discipline. The author stresses that the parent is in control and that being present and consistent are important in raising a toddler. The book has many examples of situations parents of toddlers face with helpful suggestions for handling them. There are several pieces of advice that I agree with such as approaching raising toddlers with a sense of humor intact (good for parenting in general, actually), slow down and understand that a toddler's development takes time, and remember how little your child really is. As a toddler, they have only been in this world a short time, barely past their baby years.

The book topics include understanding the mind of a toddler and how to crack the code of their emotions, how they learn, why they do the things they do, and the importance of routines. It is a good source of common-sense information that is practical and easily implemented, and is a book that would not only benefit parents of toddlers but also grandparents and teachers and anyone else who interacts with this age group.

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