Parenting Your Toddler: The Expert’s Guide To The Tough and Tender Years by Patricia Henderson Shimm and Kate Ballen

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Stars: ****

The information in this book is pretty much the same as most others but it’s in a shorter format. I would recommend this book over other toddler books for those who don’t want to read a long book with a whole chapter of discussion on something simple. It’s more of a book to show you what toddlerhood will be like than a problem-solving book. It has some things to try but it’s not like some books that show many common problems and all possible solutions. Chapters include socialization, separation, setting limits, temper tantrums, eating, sleeping, free at last-no more diapers, when parents push too hard, the firstborn child, your toddler and the new baby, sibling relationships, working mothers, caregivers, family vacations, taking a vacation alone, choosing a preschool and daycare.

There were a few things that I thought inaccurate or not plausible.

1. On pg 44 the authors are talking about setting limits and how parents can feel out of control.

“Your initial reaction might very well be to spank. However, a good whack (as almost every child development book now advises), while it may relieve your anger, will only teach your child that big people hit.”

They do? All the ones I’ve read say NOT to spank. After reading this I thought maybe this was an older book and so at that time, books said to spank but this book was published in 1995 which wasn’t all that long ago.

2. On pg 45 is this quote:

“Unlike toilet training, which can take a few weeks, learning how to be in control of emotions and actions is a lifelong process for everybody.”

A few weeks? I wish! While I’m sure there are some kids out there who were trained easily, I don’t believe the majority of children toilet train in just a few weeks. In fact, while I can’t pinpoint the source for you, I’m sure I’ve read about studies that show that toddler take between 6 months-2 years to train.

3. On pg 171 the authors are talking about working moms and give some scripts to convince your partner to get involved with child care more.

“Don’t lay a guilt trip on him. Instead of, “You really are never here. I do everything. It’s like being a single mom.” Try saying, “I really want you to have an impact on our child. You are very important to her and me. I know it’s hard to believe that I’m not perfect, but I’d love her to have some of you in her.”

I would NEVER say that to my husband. It sounds way too scripted and he would laugh at me if I said something like that. Perhaps it would work for some but not for me.

Other than this, the book was pretty good although since I’ve read a few toddler books now, I didn’t learn anything new.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.