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on August 22, 2001
This book is great for sorting through what's normal age appropriate behavior and what's not. It helped put my mind to ease! It's grouped into four stages; 0-18 months, 18-36 months, 36 months to 3 years, and 6-10 years. Under each stage are sections on Emotional Health, Cognitive Development, Family and Peer Pressure, Personal Growth and Character Formation. It gives tips on how to encourage development in the different areas, too, which I found helpful. It has a very "positive parenting" feel to it!
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on February 6, 2011
For both the newly becoming and experienced parent alike, this book is a gem for those wishing to learn what to expect of their children as they grow through developmental ages from birth to nine years. Of significant interest to those parents eager to prepare for a more all-rounded Baby-Impact developing baby, rather than simply a feed-and-grow Gymboree or BabyGym physical-activity based development, Schaefer and DiGeronimo provide a treasure box of tips and techniques for building a child's social, emotional interpersonal and cognitive skills. Guiding the reader through each of their twenty chapters using the same five component growth behaviour indicators, clustered into divisions of four age range stages (0-18 mths, 18-36 mths, 36 mths to 6 years, and 6 years to 9 years), the component sections of each age range include emotional health, cognitive development, family and peer relationships, personal growth, and character formation.

Beginning each stage with a brief extract from a `mother's diary', the empathy of the reader is quickly enhanced, as each relates typical observations of a child's natural growth and behavioural demonstrations from a parent's perspective. Schaefer & DiGeronimo would appear to have designed this `guide book' especially for parents who are having their first baby, and are much concerned with discussing infant and child development in the context of outlining normal achievable milestones, only thereafter hinting at ways for individual milestone enhancement and/or interventions with regards the same normative behaviours. For example, tantrums are excellently discussed, explained (and yes, baby tantrums are quite `normal' too !), with practical tips provided for coping/dealing with them, as and when they occur.

With the working parent also in mind, Schaefer & DiGeronimo also aim for this book to be both very functional and simple to explore. In this they surely succeed, and the reviewers believe that most parents will be able to readily acquire the general concepts of (and thus foster appropriate expectations concerning), the formation of normative human infant and child behaviour, whilst also gaining significant parenting advice. For those unable or unwilling to spend many hours reading the text from cover to cover, pay keen attention to the do's and don'ts sections of each chapter (which they label `parenting/consider' and `avoid' respectively). We thoroughly recommend studying the "avoids", (and listing them on your kitchen notice board !) for absolute gems of child-rearing wisdom, at least in the case of the majority of them.

For those with the leisure and luxury to more deeply appreciate the rationales underlaying their advice, Schaefer & DiGeronimo provide further references to the more technical/scientific literature, and occasional additional content concerned with the theoretical and academic basis of their claims. This might require an above average level of knowledge in order to be fully appreciated, though their inclusion of `science to take home' sections will inform adequately for most readers. All told, this book is far more accessible and informative than most previous volumes with similar titles, and will thus suit the parent looking for a well-written and balanced account of what they might expect (and when), from the normally-developing child. One gripe for some readers might be felt in reading the rare occurrence of the occasional Christian-ethic undertone driving some of the moral-development sections, but the discerning parent can simply replace the terminology as appropriate to their own faith(s) - the advice is nonetheless pretty sound. And, if uncomfortable with the seemingly negative advice of a "don't" - remember that an `avoid' can always be changed to offer the same advice in the positive sense as a `do' (by simply avoiding the word "avoid", and remembering the latter exemplar part of the sentence only!). Enjoy, and be honest with yourself and your child(ren), this book is a gem, as can be every developing baby when watched closely over their formative years, with such knowledge to hand as this book provides.

Dr. Tony Dickinson and Fiona Chan
Academic Research Laboratory, Worldwide Psychometric Solutions.
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on March 8, 2007
As a new parent, I have found this book helpful - especially since I haven't spent a lot of time around other children. It provides great suggestions on optimizing your child's development & helps parents have a sense of what is normal and what to expect during different phases. I like how it is written in a somewhat "text-book like" style and not anecdotally like many parenting books.
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on September 12, 2012
Okay, if you are completely clueless about kids, this would be a good entry level book to read. But, most of the advice is on the obvious side... for instance, this is some advice in the examples for 6-9 year olds. "Put safety first. If your child wants to do something that you believe he does not have the good judgment to do safely, don't hesitate to say no. First-graders, for example, rarely have the ability to cross busy streets safely by themselves." Uh-huh. And don't let your 5 year old juggle knives either, they might not be able to do it safely.
There is a lot of advice along these lines in this book. Also, you are told to hug your child whenever they want to be hugged, give them lots of reassurance that you love them, and other lines like that. Well, no kidding! There is some good info here if you can deal with being talked to like a completely clueless parent. For that, I give it 2 stars. I was hoping for more info on what to expect during each stage, in terms of social and physical and emotional development. Instead of buying this, look at Babycenter articles online instead! Cheaper and much more good information. This one has been sitting on my shelf pretty much since I started reading it and had to stop in disgust. For parenting advice, my favorite is "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline" by Becky Bailey. I loved that one during my older daughters terrible 3 phase; good reminders to calm down and look at motivation and stage of emotional development. But for the Ages and Stages - I wouldn't bother unless you need really basic reminders mixed in with some bits of decent info.
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on April 17, 2008
I love how this book is very easy to read, yet full of valuable information about the development of your child. It cuts out the fluff of many child development books, as well as the techno-jargon of others. I just want to know (in laymen's terms) what my child is experiencing and how I can best support and guide her. This is probably not the only child development book you should have on your shelf, but definitely one you shouldn't leave out.
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on March 26, 2015
Every parent, at some point in time, stops for a second and asks themselves these simple questions -

"Is my kid just totally screwed up and psycho?"
"How did I manage to to totally fail at child-rearing?"
"Why does he/she do this/that? Is he/she an alien?"

Well, the fact is you did not screw up your kid and, no, they are not aliens. They are children and, if they do not have some kind of physical, mental or developmental deficit or delay, then they go through very well-defined and research developmental stages as they grow up. Just like when the pediatrician asks you, "Is he/she tracking your eye movements? Is he/she sitting up? When did he/she start walking?" etc, etc, your child, from birth to teenage years, will go through developmental and psychological stages each with their own unique characteristics. Researchers have been studying these stages for decades and have well-defined markers and milestones as well as warning signs to look for in kids. The problem is, for the most part, all of this information is locked-up in peer-reviewed scientific journals and written in an impenetrable professional jargon that the general population of parents is just not well-versed and educated in.

"Ages & Stages" is a great book as it not only seeks to help parents understand the developmental stages that all "normal" children go through but it is also written in non-technical language and utilizes an easy-to-understand format. This book helped us to not only understand our typical, middle-child 6 year old better but also gave us insights into our oldest child who has been diagnosed with dyslexia and some mild developmental delays. By knowing what is "normal" or "expected" or "on-target" behavior for any given age-group, we were able to target our parenting energy on the areas that needed development the most without fretting or wasting time on things that were ok or issues that were very likely going to go away on their own.

So, instead of beating your head against the wall wondering why your child is trying to drive you insane, stop, breathe and order a copy of "Ages & Stages" and gain some insight into what is likely your VERY NORMAL child....
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on February 23, 2004
This is an average book. I personnaly don't think it worth the price. I think it depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for development of your child, I suggest that you read Louise Bates Ames serie: Your one-year-old, Your Two-year-old, etc. even if it is a little bit outdated.
If you are lokking for discipline, then I recommend: Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate. By far the best parenting book that I have read.
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Jean Boucher is an international comedy magician
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on April 11, 2013
I do agree with previous posters that there are some shocking things in terms of the scientific, non-sentimental way the author states what babies know & understand at certain stages. Eg Newborn/infant doesn't know the value of a personal touch just needs primal needs to be met (fed, dry, warm, etc) - this isn't the exact wording but the gist is there. It sounds harsh but its kind of true when you think of it in terms of you can hug & kiss a crying baby all you want, but if s/he has a dirty diaper or is hungry, tired, gassy or constipated, s/he is not going to feel better or stop crying just because you hold/kiss/cuddle them.
So much of what we've experienced with our daughter now at 15 months is SPOT ON either in terms of the things she's done at various ages and stages or ways we can best help her learn, adjust and function in this world by understanding her point of view. As someone who is a scientist but also has experience with kids, I've learned a good deal from this book and have found it helpful in communicating with my daughter, help to ease her frustration in learning/communicating (by understanding her perspective & wants) and have more enjoyment & productivity (both parent & toddler) in our day to day life.
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on January 7, 2014
This is exactly what I was looking for. It explains each age range (Infant to 18mos), etc. and in several categories including, emotional, physical, mental, etc. It tells you what to expect from your child and things you should and shouldn't do to encourage growth at each stage. It's written well, but simply so it's not too wordy and confusing. The first age section was only about 10 pages, just enough to give me the info without overwhelming me. I found it helpful for hints about my 8 month old son. Most things I knew, but helpful hints like to allow them to be a little frustrated with a toy, but not let them get into a full meltdown. A little frustration is good to help them learn and if you swoop in to help at the slightest problem it's not good for them. So, it's good to know these things so my good intentions don't actually do more harm. I'll be referencing this book for a long time.
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on September 10, 2014
Really like this book! Gives good basics of development at each stage. I was looking for something a little more detailed, like interest in body parts and how to appropriately handle, psychology when being disciplined and some other specifics. But, overall this really helped me to identify some key things happening and how to respond. Love the science/research pieces.
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