‘ How Toddlers Thrive ‘ is the best book on raising toddlers I’ve come across.
Shortly after arriving at the table, my family begins to eat. Within minutes, our 2-year-old begins to squirm and attempts to get down. He pushes away plates, almost spilling drinks and knocking over bowls and other table settings.
Does that scenario sound familiar?
How about this story?
My toddler and I arrive at the playground and soon he is making new friends, one is a girl wearing a cute white fuzzy coat. The girl’s mother and I talk about our kids, their teeth, and a variety of toddler topics. As the two children get to know each other, mine strokes the girl’s soft coat and they babble “hello” to one another.
Then, with one sudden strong push, the girl falls to her back, causing her nice coat to be soiled.
The girl cries and, as she is scooped up into the mother’s arms, I begin apologizing and lecturing my child on proper playground etiquette.
I do not know Tovah Klein (pictured), but after recently hearing her speak at the Barnard Center for Toddler Development in Manhattan and reading her new book How Toddlers Thrive, I feel that if she was monitoring my child during these incidents, she would assure me that it isn’t that big of a deal. That testing their environments and family dynamics are how toddlers learn.
As I read the book, I was impressed with how Klein, a child psychologist, discusses raising toddlers in easily understood terminology and makes it applicable to my current state of parenthood. She also references neuroscience in an understandable, identifiable manner, unlike many child psychologists and educators whose books read like the authors are bloviating about their knowledge instead of passing it on. Reading How Toddlers Thrive left me believing Klein cares not just about children, but also their parents.
One of the book’s many takeaways is its insight into the power struggles we have with toddlers. Sometimes, I forget that my son’s mind is rapidly growing and that pushing boundaries is actually his way of learning those boundaries. As Klein points out, my toddler has power and a say in those moments. While I’m the one who makes all the decisions, he wants to voice his opinion as well. His curiosity, passion, independence, persistence, and desire to know everything may annoy me when it comes during a rushed moment, but later in life, those are characteristics I want flourishing in him.
Even though this is the third time I’ve lived through the toddler years, I still gained a better understanding of raising toddlers after reading the book. I also came away with the desire to be more patient with my toddler. I can’t recommend this book enough, and I have read a lot of parenting books. How Toddlers Thrive is the best book on raising toddlers I’ve come across.