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4.7 out of 5 stars88
4.7 out of 5 stars
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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
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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.
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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.
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on 13 December 2014
Jog on 'Supernanny'...THIS is how to support your little one's feelings with a bit of kindness, common sense and calm. Excellent book and an easy read.
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on 30 October 2013
I have twin toddlers aged 2 & a half (boy/girl) and, like most other toddler parents, we are experiencing the full force of the toddler two's (I don't like to say terrible two's because they aren't!).

I have found this book a joy to read in the sense that it encourages the reader to look at the world from the toddler perspective. It is a big, scary world and most of what they do is trying to cope with this. This book has helped me to see this and how, often, it is my behaviour that needs adjusting and not theirs.

Just giving them a little more choice (within limits) and engaging in more creative and 'free' play where they lead has meant for more peaceful episodes.

I would definitely recommend this if you parent a toddler. Just understanding that they are not mini adults helps you to overcome the daily, hourly (!) battles.
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on 8 December 2013
After reading the baby calm book, I could not wait until reading toddler calm, it's a must have! We have such a calm home and a chilled out toddler now, and as a mother it's stopped me questioning if my child was not normal as he didn't sleep through the night.
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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!
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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.
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on 19 January 2014
This book looks at the facts and science behind the way toddlers think and act. It does not seek to train your toddler but to help you understand the way your toddler works adds give you ideas of things you can do to make your toddler's transition into childhood a smoother and healthier process. If you want to parent with respect for your toddler's emotional wellbeing whilst showing them gentle and respectful boundaries, but this book!
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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.
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