How to react when your toddler bites his playmate or your kindergartner confronts a bully? Drs. Brazelton and Sparrow bring their much-admired insight and support to this crucial, and ever more timely, childrearing challenge. From an early age, babies and toddlers need to assert themselves in a daunting world, yet eventually learn to do this without hurting others. After showing how aggression emerges at each age, Brazelton and Sparrow offer practical, wise advice on anger, fights, self-defense, the fears and nightmares that arise when children become aware of their own and others' aggression, the effects of TV and video games, and of experiencing real life violence. They offer specific, effective ways to help children understand their own aggressive feelings and channel them into healthy self-assertion in schoolwork, games, and sports.
Brazelton and Sparrow offer basic ways for helping kids understand and "master" angry feelings. The short, practical book is the closest thing to a quick fix parents are going to find, although if deeper anger issues remain after they follow this advice, they should seek out a more comprehensive text. (The authors describe some of the warning signs of more serious trouble that would warrant professional attention.) Brazelton, founder of the Child Development Unit at Children's Hospital Boston, and Sparrow, a child psychiatrist, offer suggestions for handling common problems and helping children to learn from them. Parents must be open to all of their children's feelings, the authors say, and learn to practice self-control themselves. Among the nuggets: walk away when a one-year-old bites you; and when a three-year-old is having a tantrum, don't take it personally-stick to your position and, afterwards, pick her up and comfort her. The book also covers bullying, aggression in sports and aggressive toys and games such as toy guns and action figures.