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4.4 out of 5 stars
9
4.4 out of 5 stars
How to Survive the Terrible Twos: Diary of a Mother Under Siege
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on 20 September 2005
Having lived through the "terrible twos" myself, I wish I'd had this book to hand when I did. All to many books give you the opinions of experts, the "correct thing" to do, while all the time making you feel inadequate that your own toddler refuses to comply with the advice given from on-high.
Caroline Dunford's book isn't like this - she tells you the story of her year with her toddler, the self-proclaimed Emperor, as it happens. It gives you a sense of perspective that all toddlers are different, that the expert advice doesn't always work, and that - in the end - it doesn't matter, parents find a way to make it work.
It does contain advice, of course, but this is kept to side-bars, and you're left with the impression these were added to highlight problems the author had, and some approaches to solving them - rather than The One True Way of Toddler Raising.
If I had to buy only one book about dealing with a toddler, this would be the one. If I needed more advice to back it up, Christopher Green's "Toddler Taming" would take second place on my shelf.
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on 22 September 2005
Two year olds don't come with a manual (unfortunately) but if they did, this would be it. I've read countless books written by so called child behaviour 'experts' and child psychologists (many of whom don't even appear to have children themselves) and none of them have been anywhere near as appealing as this book by Caroline Dunford.
I don't want somebody giving me 'theoretical' advice of the should do's and shouldn't do's of bringing up a two year old. I want good, honest, practical advice written by someone who's been up to their neck in it and knows first hand what they're talking about. Caroline Dunford is just such a person.
I cried when I read this book. At last I feel like I'm being offered guidance by someone who understands me and who has experienced what I've gone through.
Parenthood isn't a spectator sport. If you want the best advice for playing the game, get it from someone who's been out on the field, not watching it through binoculars.
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on 8 September 2005
How to Survive the Terrible Twos charts a year in the life of the writer and her young son, the Emperor. All the ups and downs of this year are there, from anxieties about potty training and getting sufficient vitamins into him through to pride as the Emperor learns new things. Information and practical advice on dealing with common problems faced when you have a toddler is handled through useful side articles when the topic is brought up in the diaries.
I don't have a toddler myself, but felt that the book gave a realistic, entertaining and funny account of the experience of being a mum to a smart and imperious young man. This isn't a jazzed up version of events - it's honest and looks at the ups and downs of this year when a child goes through so much development. I'm sure any parent struggling with this phase in life would gain comfort from this book, both from the handy tips and also from the realisation they are not alone!
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on 13 September 2005
An incredibly warm, honest and funny account of one woman's ride on the high-speed, big-drop, corkscrew rollercoaster that is raising a two year old. Readers with little Emperors of their own will nod in recognition, smile in sympathy and be enormously reassured by the sensible, practical and child-positive advice for coping with the more challenging aspects of parenthood to which many are afraid or embarrassed to admit. Every hair-tearing, wall-chewing besieged diary entry is drenched with love and humour.
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VINE VOICEon 12 December 2005
I have no children myself but work as a freelance educator now and was a professional childcarer previously. I would recommend this book to any parent (even if their child is now past the "terrible twos"), as it's entertaining as well as useful (and many of the tips are transferrable to older children too). It also comes across as a comforting read - reading Dunford is like talking to a wiser, more experienced friend who offers advice without criticism whilst simultaneously reassuring you that you're not a terrible parent, everyone makes mistakes, and your child will be okay.
I would also recommend this to carers - it will help you understand what parents go through, you will laugh with recognition at the Emperor, and there is plenty of good advice that you will probably be able to incorporate in your own practice.
And it's probably a good cautionary tale for prosepctive parents, too, to crystallise some thoughts they may be having and prepare them for the reality of what's involved.
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on 17 October 2005
"There are so many books about parenting on the country's bookshelves already, but How To Survive the Terrible Twos is a welcome addition. It doesn't preach. There are numerous tips for coping with tantrums." Dublin Evening Herald
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on 19 January 2010
I have a two year old and was searching for help during this difficult time. I came across this book by accident, and I'm so glad I did! This book was fantastic! It's very easy to read and there are parts that really make you laugh out loud because you are so relieved to hear that someone else has been through what you're going through! I thoroughly recommend this book! It is a must for all parents struggling through this trying time! 10/10!!
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on 8 October 2010
I bought this book on recommendation from another Mummy friend of mine whose son is a day younger than my 2+ year old daughter. It is a witty, down-to-earth read and very reassuring for any parent who has a toddler and is learning to cope with the behaviour of a child who is 2 going on 22! Highly recommended!
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on 8 January 2010
The book wasn't that much help, as I realize my child is actually really well behaved compared to the child in this book.

But the book arrived promptly and in good condition
Thankyou
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