Tools for the Toddler Years

Wait? It is September?! Wow! Summer has gone by way too quickly. I have been meaning to do a quick post on a helpful new book I read earlier this summer--one that is an excellent resource for parents of toddlers, like me.  Tools for the Toddler Years by Yvonne Gustafson and Kendra Hovey is a wonderful go-to guide for busy parents - and if you are a parent to a toddler, I know YOU ARE BUSY.

It is non-stop action around our house with our eighteen-month-old daughter.  We are having a blast with all of her language development, independence, and interest in helping around the house. Of course, there are the times when our climbing little monkey exerts her self-sufficiency in ways that are not always appreciated, so this is when flipping through Tools for the Toddler Years has come in handy.

The book begins on a positive note, which I think is refreshing.  Instead of talking about toddlers with the typical negative rhetoric (i.e. "the terrible twos!"), the book explains just who these little people are, mentally and physically, and why this time in their lives is unique.  I like that the book respects the toddler years while also offering advice and the realistic view that dealing with some toddler behaviors can be frustrating.  The first chapter, titled "The Hard Working Toddler," is my favorite.  It succinctly, but thoroughly and thoughtfully, describes what a toddler is all about.  After reading it you let out a deep sigh as you are reminded why your child acts the way he/she does.

Another very helpful aspect of Tools for the Toddler Years is the "Glance and Go Guides" which cover topics like meltdowns, transitions, the bumpy day, toileting and other "hot topics" related to these rascally little guys.  These guides really are designed for just how busy and exhausted parents are with lots of bullet points, bubbles, and highlighted phrases.  The only time I have to read books anymore is right before bed and I am usually pretty zonked, so this book is perfect for picking up and getting a daily dose of helpful parenting tips. 

To sum it up, this book is a terrific manual for managing and understanding the common behaviors and situations you find yourself in when parenting a toddler.  The writing is concise and thoughtful, and the suggestions are simple to understand and put into action.  As I mentioned, my favorite part of the book is the first chapter which offers a very respectful and interesting explanation on this unique time without resorting to the negative tone typically used when discussing the toddler years.  I really appreciate this approach and plan on giving this book to friends who are new parents!  Toddlers are funny little creatures and this book helps parents understand and respect the toddler years so you can truly enjoy them because before you know it, you will have a teenager on your hands.  Yikes!

With Zest & Zeal,


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With Zest & Zeal

Jaime & Carrie

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