This post is in response to a contributor over at Social Moms posting a request for great book recommendations in the following specific areas of parenting toddlers:
1. POTTY TRAINING: I highly recommend the delightful book Potty Animals. We have borrowed it from the library and renewed and renewed it, and my son doesn't get tired of it. Interestingly, the book will continue to be relevant for several years, as it teaches social skills surrounding bodily functions in a lighthearted, poetic, and respectful manner, which even older children need training to master. I plan to purchase a copy for our library!
For the parent, I recommend the ebook and potty training online coaching platform, www.threedaypottytraining.com. Several friends recommended it to me, and I was reluctant to purchase it until I realized I wasn't getting anywhere getting my son trained. The method requires focus, and I documented some of my experience using the system here.
2. POSITIVE DISCIPLINE: Let me note here that "discipline" is a reference to teaching what proper behavior is TO PREVENT misbehavior. Toddlers indeed have a mind of their own like any other person young or old; but I have found that with consistent proper training and respectful attention, "misbehavior "is most often related to either LACK OF PATIENT TEACHING, or OTHER NEEDS, such as rest, food, comfort, or fearfulness! This powerful insight and more can be learned from Secrets of the Toddler Whisperer. I only skimmed this book, as I had read the "Baby Whisperer" version of it, and found that the powerful concepts were the same, and that I was continuing to benefit in parenting my son using the information I read in the "Baby" version. If you haven't read "Baby Whisperer," the "Toddler" book is a must!
3. EARLY LEARNING: Recommended to me by a friend, Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready contains developmentally appropriate activities which my son found fascinating. I even used some of them in a babysitting situation with great engagement of the children present! I eventually returned that book to the library, but have my own copies of the following helpful books on my shelf at home: TV-Free Activities You Can Do with Your Child, Child's Play, Baby Play and Learn, and Busy Book for Toddlers. These books could easily go under the next section as well.
4. CREATIVE PROJECTS: I have just started an "Alphabet Book" with my son, though it was recommended by my mother, an educator, when my son was very young. You create a homemade (durable) notebook of pictures/visuals of your child's favorite things going through the letters of the alphabet. Even when my son was only 18 months, he already LOVED airplanes (theres your letter A), balls (B), and cars (C!). So it's a project that endures and expands as your child grows, piquing your child's interest in how the sounds relate to the letters, and preparing him for literacy.
For early math learning tips and creative activities, follow Home Educator Lea Ann Garfias.
5. OTHER MUST READS: If you can't read anything else I have recommended, you MUST read Kathy Peel's Busy Moms Guide to a Happy Organized Home. Go directly to the Family and Friends chapter for positive parenting solutions. You can order a copy from me, find it online, or check to see if your local library has a copy. It will change the way you think!
What books do you have to recommend to moms of toddlers and preschoolers?