Susanne's Reviews > 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

The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp
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May 21, 2008

it was ok
Read in August, 2008

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 years), but nothing that strikes me as brilliant or revolutionary.

The appendix at the end of the book summaries what the previous 292 pages detail: (in my own words)

1. Remember that your toddler is not an adult. He has a lot of learning and growing to do before he is a rational being.
2. Be your toddler's best friend, and explain new things and feelings to him -- because to him, EVERYTHING is new.
3 & 4. Reflect your toddler's feelings and thoughts back to him before telling him what you feel or think. He needs to know that he is understood -- because until now, he has not been able to communicate very clearly. Not only that, use short phrases, appropriate tone, and body language, since these are what HE understands best.
5. Keep in mind what you already know about your toddler: how much and of what can he take before he gets angry or frustrated. Don't push too much too fast.
6. Remember that he is not TRYING to piss you off. He is hypothesis-testing (to borrow a phrase from Dr. John Medina). He needs to know if your rules are the same as they were a minute ago. And another minute ago. And inside as well as outside. You get the picture.
7. Let him know what you like, and why you like it. Let him know you are proud of him.
8. Spend time with your toddler. (Now that's revolutionary!)
9. Use re-direction before punishment.
10. Punishment can look like a brief period of ignoring, or loss of privileges.

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03/16/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Short phrases and appropriate tone work well when trying to get me to do something, too. :)

Good to know it's not a must-have. Maybe he should stick to swaddling...


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