Real-world, from-the-trenches toddler parenting advice from the author of the bestselling Oh Crap! Potty Training.
Toddlers—commonly defined as children aged between two and five years old—can be a horribly misunderstood bunch. What most parents view as bad behavior is in fact just curious behavior. Toddlerdom is the age of individuation, seeking control, and above all, learning how the world works. But this misunderstanding between parents and child can lead to power struggles, tantrums, and even diminished growth and creativity.
The recent push of early intellectualism coupled with a desire to “make childhood magical” has created a strange paradox—we have three-year-olds with math and Mandarin tutors who don’t know how to dress themselves and are sitting in their own poop. We are pushing the toddler mind beyond its limit but simultaneously keeping them far below their own natural capabilities.
In the frank, funny, and totally authentic Oh Crap! I Have a Toddler, social worker Jamie Glowacki helps parents work through what she considers the five essential components of raising toddlers:
—Engaging the toddler mind
—Working with the toddler body
—Understanding and dealing with the toddler behavior
—Creating a good toddler environment
—You, the parent
Oh Crap! I Have a Toddler is about doing more with less—and bringing real childhood back from the brink of over-scheduled, over-stimulated, helicopter parenting. With her signature down-and-dirty, friend-to-friend advice, Jamie is here to help you experience the joy of parenting again and giving your child—and yourself—the freedom to let them grow at their own pace and become who they are.
Potty training guru Glowacki (Oh Crap! Potty Training) brings a pragmatic attitude and plenty of experience with the two-to-four-year-old set to her useful guide to setting one's child up to be "the best kid they can be." Feeling modern parents are pushed into "going above our kids' developmental limits in some areas and not challenging them nearly enough in others," Glowacki directs them toward a "governing" approach, based around setting strong boundaries to make toddlers feel psychologically safe while they develop their own individual personalities. To contextualize disruptive and defiant behavior, Glowacki observes it's a child's "developmental job" to offer pushback against parental control, testing limits and thereby figuring out who's in charge hopefully, the parents. She advises against focusing on early formal academics, in favor of developing life skills, and against disciplining via time-outs and empty threats of "ginormous things you have no intention of doing," in favor of setting reasonable but real consequences for misbehavior. Glowaski's humor, aimed toward presenting herself as irreverent and relatable, falls flat ("Time-outs suck"). But her intuitive insights into toddler behavior, and skill in pulling practicable takeaways from these insights, make her manual well worth any frazzled parents' time.