Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop Clothing clo_fly_aw15_NA_shoes Shop All Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Shop Kindle Paperwhite Shop now Shop Now Shop now

Customer Reviews

78
4.6 out of 5 stars
ToddlerCalm: A guide for calmer toddlers and happier parents
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£10.49+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2013
I found this book an easy read, I could pick it up and read sections in bite size chunks which could fit in round my busy life. The book covers the physiology of brain development in an easy to understand format, which helps me to relate to all the sections of the book, when discussing normal toddler behaviour. ToddlerCalm has helped me to understand that most `naughty' or unwanted toddler behaviour is actually normal and actually a good way of helping them to develop into a well rounded and emotionally receptive adult. ToddlerCalm offers an alternative to the traditional behaviourist approach to coping with toddlers and challenges the usefulness of these mainstream approaches when it comes to the long term goals we want for our children. ToddlerCalm doesn't offer quick fixes, it makes no claims too. I found the book to be a great way to introduce the concept of responding to your child in a respectful and compassionate way and helping me to understand my role when reacting to my children's unwanted behaviour as they grow and importantly the information discussed is based on research and sound evidence.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2014
I'm so sick of being told my toddler is testing me or trying it on with me.
If you try to read other so called baby expert books they seem to make out your toddler is the enemy, who needs to be controlled and tamed.
So reading ToddlerCalm is the most refreshing and welcomed book with regards to learning to help shape and understand your child.
Toddlercalm has made me really think about what my child is going through, how I treat him and how what I do now will affect the person he become.
I cant recommend this book enough.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2014
So much better than most of the other advice out there for raising toddlers. One of the key differences is that the author really knows her stuff & isn't just pedalling "quick fixes" that generate positive publicity, it's based on understanding the psychology & neuroscience behind it all & keeping long term goals in mind rather than looking for solutions that might get short term results but can have disastrous long term implications. It encourages you to treat your toddler like a lovable human being who just hasn't learnt some of the skills required for self control etc yet, rather than treating them as an inconvenience, a wild animal, an idiot, a manipulative little psychopath, or any of the other ways toddlers are sometimes talked about!

Too many of the popular parenting authors promise miracles but in order to achieve them they require you to communicate to your child that they are "bad" if they don't comply with your behavioural standards, that your love for them is conditional, that it is only worth working hard if you get a reward at the end of it, that their parents aren't reliable as a source of comfort & security, that emotions are "bad" & should be suppressed, and that being "good" is about avoiding getting into trouble rather than doing what is morally right. Think about what kind of adult results from a child who develops those beliefs about themselves and the world.

I have 3 children, two of whom are now teenagers and one who is a toddler; with my eldest two I largely followed what seemed to be the standard parenting advice at the time (and is still touted by many popular authors) - lots of negative consequences for "bad behaviour" (timeout & other punishments), praise & reward systems for "good behaviour", treating tantrums as "naughty" & "manipulative", using controlled crying to deal with sleep issues, etc. I tried to also show them lots of love, respect & warmth, but when you parent this way it's easy to slip into very negative patterns of behaviour with your children and the "nice stuff" doesn't always cancel out the negatives as much as you might like! Now I understand a lot more about all this I've realised how some of the challenges I still face with my older kids stem directly from the way I handled behaviour when they were little; things like overreliance on rewards & punishments to shape behaviour doesn't really teach kids how to take responsibility for themselves, how to develop their own internal motivation, how to feel a sense of reward at a job well done rather than expecting a tangible reward or praise for it, etc. One of the saddest things is how my experience of parenting my youngest has opened my eyes to the damage that I did to the bond between me & my older kids - the relationship I have with my youngest is far better than the relationships I had with my older kids at her age; there is more mutual trust & respect, I feel much closer to her & understand her better, and a handy benefit of all that is that she is far more cooperative & less prone to horrible tantrums than my older two were! I don't find myself getting into a battle of wills with her as much as I did with my older children - yes she can be stubborn & very challenging at times but I now have the tools to handle those situations with love and empathy rather than just trying to bend her to my will. She's not significantly different in temperament to my older children (in fact she is quite similar to her older brother in many respects), so I'm fairly confident the differences are largely down to my much improved parenting!! It's not just my own family, I know many other parents putting this "gentle parenting" advice into practice who find it works really well and nurtures the kind of warm, loving relationship that we all hope to have with our children, as well as producing kids who are kind, self-confident, secure & successful.

I'm so grateful to authors like Sarah Ockwell-Smith for showing me that there is another way, and only wish this advice had been widely available a decade or so ago! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she decides to write one aimed at teenagers soon.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 25 November 2013
I've just finished this and it's a real eye opener. I read BabyCalm and attended the classes, and after a year I feel like a pretty confident parent of a baby. With the toddler years approaching I felt the need to be prepared, so this is the first book I went for. What it does first and foremost is provide facts, not opinions or anecdotes, but actual scientifically verified facts about toddlers; how they are developing, why they do what they do, and how we as parents can help them along.

The science on offer is broken down and explained in a way anyone can understand, but that's not to say it's "dumbed down", it isn't. It's explained clearly and succinctly so anyone can read it, understand it, absorb it and put it to use in your life. Most importantly, it makes you think! It also, again very clearly, is lay out what is normal for a toddler; it may not be societies idea of a 'good' toddler (i.e. compliant, quiet etc) but it's just normal. Reading that is incredibly reassuring and alleviates all kinds of parental stress and anxiety.

What it doesn't do it 1) claim to know your child 2) give you a list of do's and don'ts, which if you can't achieve makes you feel like a failure and 3) set up your toddler and some kind of adversary (the impression I get from many 'child experts') who's out to ruin your life.

If you have a toddler, get it. If you have a baby who's around 1, get it. Arm yourselves with knowledge, and knowledge derived from science not habit and authority.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2015
As mum to a recently turned 18m old I was looking for advice on 'training' my toddler. I came across this book on Amazon and couldn't be happier: it completely altered my point of view.

The book's main point is to try to see the world through your toddler's eyes. They have so little control and are still struggling to grasp concepts like time. By listening and thinking about how they may be feeling, you can avoid full blown tantrums (although it explains how these are developmentally normal).

The book offers scientific background to support its theories which it needs as this goes against the grain of modern parenting. It is not patronising and is very clear that it is not recommending permissive parenting where your child can do as they please, but equally encourages the reader to let go of their need to control.

I'd recommend this to any parent struggling with their little one. For those who've followed things like 'baby led-weaning' this supports that and helps you to think about your attitude to food if your toddler becomes a fussy eater.

A supportive and eye-opening book. I'm enjoying applying the theories with my strong willed little girl who thrives on choice and being treated with respect. A must-read!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2013
Amazing and informative book that helps develop an understanding of why Toddlers act the way they do. It also gives parents techniques to help them build loving, calm relationships with their children. 10/10
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2014
This book is absolutely fantastic. It has helped me to understand my 2 year old's behaviour far more than anything else. I want to be an understanding and compassionate parent that allows my child to explore, experiment and develop while also still laying boundaries and structure. I sometimes struggle with patience like all parents I am sure. The more I understand about how toddlers develop and how much they need and depend on us to develop properly the more patient I hope to become. This book does exactly this. Sarah discusses paediatric neuro psychology, cites examples from influential child psychologists as well as normal every day parenting examples. She offers strategies to tackle challenging toddler behaviour and constantly reminds us of how much they need and rely on us, and the fact that they are not manipulating us and do not need to be "tamed". Great book. Every parent should read this.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 2013
This book is a must for those who can't stand the idea of cry it out methods. It has helped turn things around for our family. We had a very anxious toddler who is now relaxed, tantrum and bite free (yay!) and settles for bed time so much easier. I would highly recommend this book. It has also helped in creating a calmer mummy and daddy!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2014
I loved the Babycalm book that came before this, hence buying this. A good follow on. I find it reads slightly differently to the first book but follows a similar format including parents experiences. It doesn't give you a prescriptive plan on how to deal with your toddler, instead ideas of how to work with your child
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2013
This book is a synthesis of ideas from various places, the majority (although not all) of which I agree with wholeheartedly. It's done fairly well, but I think how useful it is will probably depend on what you have already come across before as well as what seems blindingly obvious to you - if you've never read a parenting book, it will probably be interesting. I didn't find it contained any earth-shattering practical advice.

It's very readable, but I did find the CRUCIAL acronym annoyingly contrived, and could have done without the constant suggestion that all parents behave in various ways that I have never done! Ultimately I don't think it changed the way I parent at all, but observing other parents, I can see that it will certainly be useful to a lot of people.

The contents are roughly as follows:

- 'Who do I want my toddler to be?' - this is all about the fact that when you are parenting you are playing the long game, discussing the development of empathy, confidence and independence, curiosity and a desire to learn, and commitment and ambition, saying things like e.g. the way to develop empathy is to exhibit compassion your self, the way to develop independence is to allow more dependence when younger etc.
- 'Why toddlers are not mini adults' - this is the 'science' chapter and talks about synaptic pruning, the triune brain theory, Piaget including his three mountains experiment, and Bandura's bobo doll. The basic message is that the early years are important and there is stuff that toddlers' brains just aren't biologically capable of yet.
- 'The science of toddler sleep' - this basically says to accept that toddlers sleep badly. Only practical advice is to get to bed early, get blackout blinds and have a nice bedtime ritual. As you'd expect from the author, there is lots on why you shouldn't sleep train, primarily quoting Middlemiss's work on cortisol levels, which is interesting but has possible issues with it (and certainly doesn't cover 'crying in arms' which the author conflates with controlled crying). Ultimately, the only advice here is to wait, which is fine if your toddler is waking up once a night, but not if there are waking up dozens of times each night. I'd have liked to have seen something about how to deal with the cot-to-bed transition (and ha, how to cosleep with a toddler who wants to play with your face rather than sleep!)
- 'The science of picky eating' - basically says that the underlying reasons are incorrect expectations, a need for control from the toddler's point of view and biological differences in taste between adults and young children. I have the least picky toddler ever, though don't know if that is just luck but agree with just not stressing too much about what your toddler eats. I'm less convinced by the author's encouragement of grazing (which I suspect too easily leads to comfort eating) and short-order cooking. I prefer Ellyn Satter's approach here.
- 'Carrots and sticks and the problem with praise' - this is a good summary of the problems with rewards and praise. If you've read Alfie Kohn and Carol Dweck, there won't be anything new, but it's good stuff.
- 'The battle for CONTROL' - this is about encouraging free play and not overdirecting - I came across this concept by reading Janet Lansbury, but if you haven't, then definitely worthwhile.
- 'The RHYTHM of life' - about the importance of rhythm/routine. My favourite book on this is Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne
- 'UNDERSTANDING the real problem' - about not labelling toddlers and understanding their biological limitations
- 'COMMUNICATION - toddler style' - a bit of a mishmash chapter, about treating tantrums as a form of communication, modelling the behaviour you want, and then odd tips like phrasing things you want positively rather than negatively (e.g. 'stay on the pavement' rather than 'don't go in the road').
- 'Treating your toddler as an INDIVIDUAL" - basically a reminder that not all toddlers are the same, talks about mind-mindfulness
- 'AVOIDING difficult situations' - again a reminder to organise your life to avoid things that are likely to cause problems, includes a good section on how to cope when your toddler is having a tantrum, and tips for coping when people criticise your parenting
- 'The importance of unconditional LOVE' - talks about Maslow, oxytocin, Tronick's still face experiment, responding to your toddler with compassion, and nurturing yourself and how you need to be calm to calm your toddler. There's also a section on separation anxiety and how to leave your toddler when you really have to.
- 'Why you don't need to be permissive to parent respectfully' - talks about the fear of making our toddlers cry, authoritative parenting, and how to set and enforce limits (basically offering an alternative)
- 'CRUCIAL in action - ten worked examples' - this covers biting/hitting, throwing, not sharing, refusal to get dressed/have nappy changed, refusal to eat, not sleeping through the night, tantrumming constantly, not using their potty, not settling in childcare, and a new sibling. I felt this was a slightly weak section. E.g. with hitting, it doesn't say how to deal with repeated hitting, throwing etc. what to do if your child isn't interested in the alternative or if there isn't an alternative available e.g. if you are at friend's house, say. In the section on sharing, it doesn't talk about dealing with snatching (as you don't want to model snatching behaviour yourself!). The only practical suggestion with getting dressed is to give them choices and to make it fun, without many ideas for the latter - I certainly know neither of those worked with my son!

Overall, I'm not sure it's a book that I'd recommend to a friend, partly because I feel iffy about the sleep and food chapters and partly because the CRUCIAL acronym makes me cringe, plus there are other books I'd recommend first. However, if the contents is new to you, then you'll probably get a lot out of this book.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
The Gentle Sleep Book: For calm babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers
The Gentle Sleep Book: For calm babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers by Sarah Ockwell-Smith (Paperback - 5 Mar. 2015)
£3.99


BabyCalm: A Guide for Calmer Babies and Happier Parents
BabyCalm: A Guide for Calmer Babies and Happier Parents by Sarah Ockwell-Smith (Paperback - 4 Oct. 2012)
£11.19
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.