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The Happiest Toddler on the Block: The New Way to Stop the Daily Battle of Wills and Raise a Secure and Well-Behaved One- To Four-Year-Old
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The Happiest Toddler on the Block: The New Way to Stop the Daily Battle of Wills and Raise a Secure and Well-Behaved One- To Four-Year-Old

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  5,068 Ratings  ·  763 Reviews
Toddlers can drive you adorable and fun one stubborn and demanding the next! Yet, as unbelievable as it sounds, there is a way to turn the daily stream of "nos" and "don'ts" into "yeses" and hugs...if you know how to speak your toddler's language. In one of the most useful advances in parenting techniques of the past twenty-five years, Dr. Karp rev ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 31st 2005 by Bantam (first published 2004)
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May 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
I was SO impressed with Dr Karp's first book, "The Happiest Baby on the Block," that I didn't even look at the "Happiest Toddler" before buying it. The five "S's" in "The Happiest Baby" absolutely saved our sanity when Isaac was a newborn. For him, it really was like flipping a switch from cranky to calm.

After reading"Happiest Toddler," I find myself thinking that there are some suggestions I might refer back to at some future date (since the book covers toddler's behavior from one to four year
Kelly Cooke
Oct 21, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book made me wish for the rebirth of the pamphlet. You know how Thomas Paine and those folks around the birth of our nation had these big ideas but then put them in a pamphlet? I think that's what Harvey Karp should do. Only, his ideas (in this book, anyway) aren't really that big.

Here's something that bothers me. A writer or somesuch will have a decent idea and sell many, many books (i.e. "The Happiest Baby on the Block," which I enjoyed in DVD form and "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick W
Jun 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
These days, it seems as though every book written by a doctor has a catchy gimmick designed to grab the interest of the reader. This book was no exception, as on the back cover Dr. Karp lovingly refers to toddlers everywhere as pint-sized cavemen. Since I am currently in the throws of the toddler years, I had to agree with Dr. Karp, as there are days that my little one happily wreaks destruction. Lest you think that Dr. Karp is somehow being insulting, let me assure you that it is very evident t ...more
Apr 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
My 2 year old Rosie was melting down-- it was past naptime, and we were on the 8th activity of the day-- decorating cupcakes--and she DESPERATELY wanted a handful of m&ms. She started screaming, CANDY!!!! CANDY!!!! Auntie Bridget said to me, "have you read The Happiest Toddler on the block?" I told her-- "I've just started it!" I begged Bridget for a demonstration.
She leaned across the table, right into Rosie's face and wailed at a Wagnerian pitch, "You want candy!!!!!! You want candy, huh!
Matt Weber
Nov 25, 2012 rated it liked it
A difficult read, but its very disjointedness accumulates through the chapters to ramify into a very real hallucinatory power. Characters flit through, ghostlike, evanescent, there and gone, so transitory that mere recurrence strikes one like a thunderbolt -- for example, the brothers Aidan and Nate, the source of whose tantrums is never fully anatomized but whose too-brief anguishes ignite the page like black fire. The repetitious, misspelled incantations of thwarted desire sometimes recall Fau ...more
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book no! Make mad! MAD! MAD!

Book done? Me happy! HAPPY! YAY!

If you don't want to read variances of the two sentences above then I suggest avoiding this book entirely. The author explains that by talking to your child like a caveman in what he calls "Toddler-ese," you'll stifle tantrums asap and have a happier and more cooperative child. That may be true, but halfway through this book I was already banging my head against a wall with all his examples. Perhaps I would have a more respectful c
Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, parenting
I was pleasantly surprised with this book. Not only is it an easy, quick read, but it's also really congruent throughout; everything fits together like a perfect puzzle. It's like you've hired a personal parent trainer who has provided you with a complete "work out" plan, and all the parts work together for the general benefit.

I went into it with the mentality of taking everything as a grain of salt (is that the expression? or is it "with" a grain of salt? neither really makes sense to me). My
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have to disagree with most of the reviews of this book. I read this book during a period of severe tantrums from my one year old, and a lot of the strategies suggested in this book really seemed to help. Simply coming to the realization that my toddler was more like a little caveman rather than a little person helped dramatically. Before reading the book, I constantly was asking myself an anyone else near, "why is she acting like this?!?!" Reading this book have me some much needed insight. Al ...more
Nov 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I was so surprised to come onto Goodreads today and find that so many people gave the book low or mediocre ratings! I think that it basically comes down to doing what you feel is comfortable and successful. Perhaps the methods that Dr. Karp recommends don't sit well with all parents, or don't work for all children.

I really felt like the book further opened my eyes to how toddlers see the world. Many of things he recommended, I already do with the toddlers I babysit. The new id
Feb 16, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: parenting
I think it's important to relate to your kids, to try to understand where they're coming from, to even speak to them on their level, respecting their abilities. But I will not get on the floor and cry in baby-speak just because my 2 year old is doing it! There are better, gentle, more dignified ways.

I was surprised that I didn't like this book (I actually watched the video) as much as The Happiest Baby on the Block because there were some ideas in the baby book that are right-on. Not so with the
May 15, 2008 rated it liked it
A solid basic parenting book for toddlers, although with a somewhat strange twist about considering your toddler to be a caveman. Most of his points are very good basic parenting advice, but the "toddler-ese" thing is a bit strange. Tried it with some of my patients and some of the parents out-right laughed at me or looked at me like I lost my mind and it didn't really actually help with the kid's distress. Definitely, it doesn't work on Spenser who just looks at me like I'm nuts and with an exp ...more
I really liked Dr. Karp's Happiest Baby on the Block because it was so straight forward. This book? Not so much. He advocates talking to a child in what I find to be a silly and non-sensical way. If a child has a tantrum about say being hungry, for example, you're supposed to tell her: "You're hungry. Hungry. Hungry. Hungry." I mean, I get that toddlers can't be reasoned with, and I understand his point that toddlers are essentially uncivilized cavemen, but really? I just can't do this toddleres ...more
I was actually surprised by how much I got out of this book. I never really used Dr. Karp's Happiest Baby on the Block techniques, although that was mainly because our little one was already older when I read it. But I thought I would check this one out, as I needed a little guidance for the toddler years!
Many of Dr. Karp's techniques sound a little ridiculous, and they honestly feel a little ridiculous at first, but I think they work. It's all about respecting your toddler by acknowledging how
Jul 31, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is absolutely BIZARRE!!!! I picked it up last week at a bookstore's going-out-of-business sale, and I have mostly just been skimming it. But I had to stop, because it was so strange! The author advocates GROWLING at your child like a dog or a bear to get him to stop misbehavior! He also advocates speaking to your child in "caveman" language when trying to stop misbehavior or tantrums. Here is an example: "Cookie! Cookie! You want cookie! Cry! Cry! Cry! Emma Cry! You want! You want! You ...more
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I haven't even touched a parenting book since Dean was an infant, but once he hit that 17-month mark, the Toddler Tornado took us by surprise and I found myself grappling for how to handle the sudden meltdowns my son started having on me (much to my chagrin). No surprise that I would turn to Harvey Karp for answers, since his Happiest Baby on the Block book (he of the great "swaddling" fame) saved me as a new mother in those very early days of parenthood! His Toddler answer to his parenting seri ...more
Real Supergirl
There's tons of good suggestions in here, reading it when my son is only 1 year is a little overwhelming as I don't really know yet what kind of toddler he'll be, but I suspect I will return to it as his toddler years unfold. It's useful as an easy to read, philosophical approach to parenting - it's not about control or making our little "cavemen" into who we want them to be, it's about helping them navigate the world safely and become who they want to be, who they have the potential to be, and ...more
Özge İnci
Çocuk doktoru olan ve halen mesleğini icra etmeye devam eden Harvey Karp'ın yıllar süren tecrübe ve gözlemlerini aktardığı ve geliştirdiği kendine has yöntemlerle bezediği bu kitabı, okuduğum çocuk gelişim kitapları arasında en dolu dolu, en bilgi verici en faydalı ve etkileyici olanı oldu. Yalnız her şey muhteşem giderken sona yakın bölümlerden birinde uyku eğitimine dair uygulamalar paylaşması beni şaşırttı ve hayal kırıklığına uğrattı. O bölümler hariç, tekrar tekrar dönüp okuyacağım ve ihtiy ...more
Feb 28, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A lot of this book didn't really resound for me except -- as others have stated -- the FFR. I use that all the time in my personal and professional lives, so it made sense to extend it to my daughter. There has been an improvement in her tantrum recovery time that I'll attribute to that. However, I simply refuse to speak like a caveman to her when she's upset. I just don't buy it. How will dropping pronouns and prepositions make her understand me more? I'm happy to hear from other parents on thi ...more
Courtney Judd
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Karp's first book The Happiest Baby on the Block is genius! It is seriously a life savor and his calming methods are extremely effective.

This book is a dud in my opinion. It seems like more of a plea to earn more money than a genuine resource of helpful information.

I found myself rolling my eyes and suffering through this book most of the time, but I took a "Don't kick it till you try it" approach since I am desperate in handling this threenager phase.

I found The Fast Food Rule and Time-Ins he
Lisa Wuertz
This book has been talked up a lot by several friends. So I was really hoping I would like it and I would get some insights as our daughter started throwing full blown tantrums at 10 months old when she wouldn't get her way when it came to stuff like climbing the stairs, going in the kitchen, etc.

However, being that I didn't much like Happiest Baby on the Block and found Karp's writing style annoying there, I probably should have expected the same from this book. Seriously, I think I'm going to
Apr 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
Great starter book for understanding toddler emotions and how to respect them and handle tantrums. The only thing I didn't like about this book is the dramatization, which I find escalates the child emotions. They need us to bridge the gap from how they feel to how they can feel good again. We accept their negative feelings. We allow them to have negative feelings. But we dont have to have negative feelings with them. We can come from a place of peace, bridge the gap with empathy, and let them w ...more
Nov 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
My two star rating is based on the "it was okay" description. Yes, this book is okay. It contains some good advice about how to make a toddler feel his or her feelings have been heard, and why this is important. I appreciated the little techniques for creating a positive, encouraging vibe by letting the child overhear positive things about his/her actions, as well as the actions of others. I also agree that lengthy reasoning with an angry toddler is not productive, and will likely just further a ...more
Melissa Whiting
Dr. Karp had some helpful pointers, but they were far and few. Overall, the book felt too forced. The anecdotes used seemed more staged and less genuine and almost all of the experiences that Dr. Karp described where he actually used these methods were in a doctor's office where he is interacting with the kids for a short amount of time - our pediatrician does not use these methods and has great interactions with my children. I think my biggest issue though is that he was working so hard to sell ...more
Feb 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Karp has some great ideas (and a few of them even seem to work on my child), I found myself cringing often at the writing and the tone. And I particularly loathed his near-constant use of the word "primitive." It's bad enough as an adjective ("your child's primitive behavior") but so much worse as a noun ("try this technique with your little primitive!"). Ugh! I'm not sorry I read this, because his overall message makes a lot of sense -- but I didn't exactly enjoy the experience.
Sep 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Some interesting ideas. I'm not sure I completely buy-in (unlike The Happiest Baby on the Block which was an incredibly helpful book) but I did try one of the techniques on a screaming, thrashing toddler this morning and it worked like a charm. (For the record, that was a combination of FFR and empathy.)
Gün İlke Yıldırım
Yürümeye henüz başlamış 11 aylık bir bebek annesi olarak bu tarz kitapları okumak için tam zamanı olduğunu düşünüyorum. Yazarımız Dr.Karp da bu konuda benimle hemfikirmiş meğer. Yumurcaklar yürümeye başladığında ebeveynler için de başka bir dönem başlamış oluyor. Bu dönemi kolay atlatabilmek adına bazı püf noktalarının aklımızın bir yerinde durması hiç fena olmaz diye düşünüyorum. Kitapta, 1-4 yaş arası ön çocukluk dönemindeki yumurcakları huysuzluk anlarında sakinleştirmek, sıkıntılarını anlaya ...more
Tiffany Huffman (perfictionist_tiff)
Some of the concepts seem a little weird or don’t apply to my child, but a majority have been very helpful and I’ve seen a slight improvement already.
This book was very helpful in helping me understand my child’s personality better, learn some great basics on proper discipline for tantrums, and how to deal with very specific life situations as well.

This book covers a lot of ground in the raising-a-toddler world, and I wish I had read this earlier. :) but even with my son being in his older todd
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I would recommend skimming this one-some good nuggets but pretty basic.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Bailey
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
So, there is some good practical advice here, but there's also some stuff that I just don't buy. First of all, the book is a little repetitive. I remember reading another review where the reviewer said this is better suited to a pamphlet, and that's the best critique I've seen. This is pamphlet material. Most of it isn't earth-shattering. I don't see myself starting to communicate in Toddlerese. Maybe it works for others, but it's not for me. I think the silliest thing I saw was the massage time ...more
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Dr. Harvey Karp is a nationally renowned pediatrician and child development specialist. He is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine. Over the past 30 years, he has taught thousands of parents, from working moms to superstars like Madonna, Michelle Pfeiffer and Pierce Brosnan his secrets for making children happy.

Dr. Karp has committed his full-time efforts to writing,
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“Some critics disapprove of giving kids “rewards.” They say, “Children should obey simply out of respect.” Nice idea, but expecting toddlers to cooperate purely out of respect is like expecting patience from a baby. It’s not going to happen.” 2 likes
“Even the greatest geniuses fail … many, many times! Dr. Seuss, America’s beloved children’s author, was rejected twenty-eight times before he found a publisher for The Cat in the Hat. Barbra Streisand’s off-Broadway debut opened and closed the same night. Walt Disney was once fired because he “lacked imagination” and “had no original ideas.” 2 likes
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