I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this book before now. I read it years ago, and recently re-read it as I have another child in the toddler phase. This book, by Janet Lansbury, is a very practical book. Sometimes I come across parenting books that are too lofty. This book is realistic and has genuinely good ideas for parenting a toddler. At its foundation, it seems to be well researched and based on the most recent science around parenting, attachment, and “positive discipline”.
To demonstrate one of the ideas the book gave me:
We were on vacation with my then 3 year old daughter who has a record for major meltdowns ;) It was in the midst of one of these meltdowns that I remembered an idea from this book, write her a letter. I tried out this novel approach. I wrote my three year old, non reading toddler a letter. I wrote it very quickly (as the situation required) something like, “I feel angry that you _____, I love you, it is time to calm down”. I handed my screaming child the letter and she immediately stopped crying. She was curious what it said. So I put her in my lap and I read it to her. We had a short conversation about how she felt and what I wish had happened, then we moved on with the day. The end.
When I think of parenting, there is no one perfect solution for any given situation. Every parent needs a variety of tools that they can reach for in a given moment. I was glad that in that moment I had a unique option to reach for that ended with a learning and loving moment between my daughter and me.
The book also covers things like how to handle the arrival of a new baby, how to skillfully offer choices, etc.
The big take-away from this book:
Even thought toddlers can be irrational and nonsensical, parenting with respect and love breeds better communication, cooperation, and a healthy relationship.