If you've ever been caring for a child who is behaving in what I would call a 'fussy' way, and you have not known what to do next, then this book is for you. As the title suggests, this book deals with the very delicate and highly loaded subject of why babies and children cry and rage, and what to do when they do. It is an excellent source of straightforward well researched information which gives the reader a rich and useable knowledge of the emotional world of not only babies and children, but teenagers and adults too! If you want to understand more about human emotions in general, and in particular how to help young children deal with their strong own emotions, then this book is an absolute must. Before reading Tears and Tantrums I had a particularly difficult (fussy) child of three and, using the information here I was bale to help my daughter release her strong emotions in a safe and practical way. She is now a more relaxed, happier, and more confident and lively child; no longer fussy and difficult to live with, but rather able to express her full array of emotions and therefore not weighed down with pent-up feelings. All of this was achieved by following Dr Solter's advice in both this, and her other two books (The Aware Baby; Helping Young Children Flourish) which offer a comprehensive approach to parenting which avoids the usual approach of punishment and/or reward. The books are packed full of practical, useful examples, well-referenced and laid out, and will serve for years as an excellent point of reference for parents and carers. I cannot recommend Dr Solter's books highly enough, and I haven't looked back since the day I discovered these gems.
I read this book ten years ago when my daughter was a baby of about three months. What I took from the book was permission to allow my daughter (and subsequent son) to cry without fretting about how I should stop them. I have not since worried about loud expressions of feelings and have for the most part accepted their cries and complaints as necessary, normal and healthy.
What I have found is that the crying never lasts so long as it might if I resisted it. When I just stay with them, comforting, but not hushing or otherwise reacting then they soon feel heard and validated and move swiftly throught their discomfort to a more peaceful place. I have offered my children WARM comfort - not 'cold comfort' as one reviewer interprets that the books suggests - and mostly, as the book says, this is all that the children need. Its all about allowing feelings, allowing kids to be kids, allowing each other to express without supression.
The idea of being with someone who is expressing upset, rage or whatever by crying is so basic and so easy, and produces children who are emotionally intelligent. Why don't all the baby/chldren's books recommend this?
What a relief to find this book, it articualtes what my gut tells me. A huge reasureance to us learner (first time) parents, so eager to do what is right for our babies. This feels spot on, makes perfect sense and is a way forward that both my husband and i feel comfortable with.
Aletha Solter presents her findings in a sensible, easy to follow and articulate manner. It is apparent that her research is thorough and she provides reasons for arriving at the conclusions she does.
Babies cry for a reason and how incredible to get over our need to shush them and just allow them to release their stress and tension. This has already given our daughter the ability to have shorter cries at night and more importantly allowed us to feel more at ease when she cries.
This would be my number one gift to any friends expecting a baby. I am so grateful that a friend reccomended it to me. It has made anxious and concerned parents more at ease and relaxed.
Have just finished this book. I got it as my daughter was going through a difficult phase and I could not get my head around why she was recently so emotional. Now I think I know and am going to try a new approach ie let her cry not constantly try to distract her or tell her to stop.
It's well worth reading even if it is just to feel reassured that it is OK that your kids cry and you should let them do so. I was interested to read that tears contain stress hormones as if the body is ridding itself of them. Also kids who are able to cry openly are easier to live with. Lets hope so.
<dd><b><i><font size="+3" color="#990000">T</font>ears and Tantrums</i></b> is Dr. Solter's third book. Subtitled: <b><i>What To Do When Babies and Children Cry,</i></b> it could just as well have been subtitled, Preventing Neurosis in Children and Resolving Birth Trauma. The Swiss-American developmental psychologist has written what may well be her finest work and which should be widely read and more importantly put into practice by all parents. Her advice about what to do with crying and rageful children is clearly explained and could easily be applied but unfortunately most mothers and fathers raise their children the way they were raised. But don't necessarily look to primitive cultures for guidance to learn how to raise a child. According to Dr. Solter, some of these primitives have their own cultural taboos which are as detrimental to their children as some our own misunderstandings are to our children. One theme runs through <b><i>Tears and Tantrums</i></b>. and that is that preventing babies and young children from crying is not something which should be done automatically. If you find out that your infant is not hungry or thirsty, his diapers don't need changing and he is not in physical pain --- then let your baby cry and rage while you lovingly hold him or be attentive to him. Do not be deceived. It is difficult to not nurse, to not allow use of a pacifier, to not give in to excessive demands for attention, but to lovingly hold your child for as long as it takes for your child to relive and release early repressed feelings and current hurts through crying jags. Common sense and perhaps your need for peace of mind tells you to try to stop the crying! Common sense also tells you when driving a careening car on an ice slick highway, not to steer in the direction the car is traveling. In both cases, following common sense is neither correct nor helpful and may be detrimental. The author believes that the child must go with and through the pain instead of avoiding it. Too frequent nursing to prevent crying is called a "control pattern" by the author. It is a defense; a way of containing feelings, even traumatic birth feelings which are pressing for release. Besides unneeded nursing and thumb and pacifier sucking, other control patterns are hyperactivity, head banging, and excessive clinging. Some infants and young children constantly demand attention and entertainment. When this happens, a child is using still another control pattern, Solter believes, and is another way the infant or child keeps his feelings and crying at bay. What the child really needs is to connect to his feelings and not to defend against them. The parent should remove the pacifier, discontinue giving in to the child's demands for continual entertainment and attention and let the child feel its sadness and misery as completely as possible. But never ignore your baby by leaving him to cry alone. Support the infant's or child's raging grief occasionally with holding but always with loving attention. Later in life crying is strictly used as a release of tension, but infants and young children use crying in a two-fold manner. It is up to the observant parent to know whether the child has a real physical need or using a defense to keep from feeling earlier hurts. Since babies have only one method of communication, sometimes the message is not that clear. If you can't resolve or remove the hurt without resort to a control mechanism then allow your infant to cry, but always in your attentive presence. When very minor hurts trigger crying one should remember that the child is not being manipulative, but that its repressed feelings were very close to the surface. Sometimes it only takes a very small stimulus to trigger crying. This is what happens, for example, when someone else's eating of the last cookie provokes a disproportionately responsive crying reaction. Sometimes parents give in to their child's whims to stop the crying. But if this continually happens, the "attentive good parent" may cause their young child to become a demanding older child, adolescent and adult as their defense of choice continues over the years. The result will not be that your child will still be using a pacifier during high school graduation exercises, but its years of using its defense of choice will help to prevent resolution of earlier hurts which would otherwise have been resolved or lessened by the withdrawal of his control mechanism. Remember, children are not demanding because they have been spoiled, but "because <b><i>they never have had an opportunity to release pent-up feelings by crying and raging</i></b>." (Emphasis in the original text) As in her other two books, <b><i>The Aware Baby</i></b> and <b><i>Helping Young Children Flourish,</i></b> Dr. Solter recounts interesting examples of what to do taken from interactions with other children and her own children. To be a good parent, you don't need a Ph.D. in developmental psychology like Aletha J. Solter, but you do need to be able to resist the temptation to give-in and have peace at any price and do like your parents did it to you when your child cries. Dr. Solter did not write this but I believe that the price your child may pay for your mistakes in their upbringing may well be lifelong neurosis for them which may be ultimately handed down to your grandchildren. The author's <b><i>Tears and Tantrums</i> </b>has many interesting sections. Some of them concern dealing with physical hurts, crying during separations, dealing with violence, bedtime crying, helping children heal from specific traumatic events, as well as a practical applications chapter which includes a section on questions which Dr. Solter frequently hears at her workshops given in this country and in Europe. <b><i>Tears and Tantrums </i></b>also contains extensive references, suggestions for further reading as well as letters from happy parents who have successfully used her techniques. Crying is not just for babies. The author believes that everyone can and should use that mechanism unless they are too shut down. Three books and three successes! <hr> </td></tr> </table>
I just can't raccomend enough Dr Solter's books, they are just some (very few out there) of the best parenting books!! Very respectful of children's feelings. A must buy for new parents or for a present to new parents. Highly inspiring approach to parenting.