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The Emotional Life of the Toddler Paperback – May 1, 1995

57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Any parent who has followed an active toddler around for a day knows that a child of this age is a whirlwind of explosive, contradictory, and ever-changing emotions. Many books cover the physical and cognitive abilities of the toddler, but Lieberman's is the first to offer an in-depth examination of the varied and intense emotional life of children from ages one to three. Drawing on her lifelong research, Dr. Lieberman addresses commonly asked questions and issues. Why, for example, is "no" often the favorite response of the toddler? How should parents deal with the anger they sometimes feel in the face of their toddler's unflagging obstinacy? Why does a crying toddler run to his mother for a hug only to push himself vigorously away as soon as she begins to embrace him? With the help of numerous examples and vivid cases, Lieberman answers these and other questions, giving us, in the process, a rich, insightful profile of the roller coaster emotional world of the toddler.

Lieberman shows that the toddler is torn between the strong desire to remain close to the parent and the equally compelling drive to explore new and exciting surroundings. The author discusses how a child can be helped to achieve a balance between these conflicting desires, to feel both confident and outgoing as well as protected and comforted when necessary. Lieberman also provides fascinating new material on how children's different temperaments express themselves during the toddler years and how parents can better match their own temperaments to their child's. Particular attention is given to the shy child and the very active child at this age. In addition, Lieberman gives new Insights on how best to handle common toddler problems, such as sleep disturbances, sibling rivalry, and temper tantrums. She also provides invaluable information on the normal anxieties of this age and how to recognize when anxiety is excessive, needing special attention. Finally, she gives us a fresh, insightful picture of how toddlers typically handle the stress of their parents divorce and outside child care, and provide sensitive practical advice on easing the toddle through these transitions.

The Emotional Life of the Toddler is an in valuable resource for parents, clinicians, re searchers, and child-care workers alike. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Reprint edition (May 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0028740173
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028740171
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Whistling Winds on April 2, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book explains why toddlers act the way they do and what you can do to help them control their behavior. The book addresses tantrums, separation anxiety, sleeping problems, toilet training and more from the point of view of the toddler. It helped me to understand that these things are a really big deal to a toddler even though they don't seem like it to me. I also realized a lot of the advice you read in other books may work to stop the behavior but are actually very emotionally damaging to the kid. For example ignoring them when they are having a tantrum is emotionally damaging to the child, because anger is a very scary emotion for them and they need help learning how to deal with anger. If you ignore them, you reinforce to them that anger is scary, they also think you don't love them anymore because you are ignoring them, and they eventually start repressing their anger (and we all know from recent studies that repressing anger is a large cause of stress and heart disease).
Since reading this book, I have changed how I relate to my son (18 months)and it has been great! He has almost no tantrums anymore, he cooperates with me when I ask him to, and we are both A LOT happier together. I highly recommend this book!! It doesn't take very long to read and is definitely worth the time.
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73 of 77 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book has been my bible, my friend, my support, and the best resource I have found to understanding my toddler. Alicia Lieberman's insights are remarkable. The wisdom I have gained from this book has made me a better mother. Lieberman leads you through the thought process and the emotional life of your toddler. Understanding "why" they are doing what they are doing gives you the freedom to let them be toddlers. It dispells the secret myth in your head that they are doing these crazy things to drive you nuts! Lieberman delivers this book with well researched information. The premise of her theories are backed up by many experts and studies. Following an attachment parenting theme allows for compassion for the toddler, and a emphasis on a secure base relationship between parent and child. Lieberman explains how children have different tempermant types, and how different parenting styles influence or undermine them. Each type of temperment is described in detail. Allowing an insight into each childs individual perspective on the world. Understanding this perspective helps you see where your child is coming from, and how to interact with them individually for a better relationship and a more secure child. I cannot recommend this book more highly. After reading this book I have a feeling of peace when dealing with my toddler as opposed to my dread when I bought it. Thank you Alicia Lieberman. This book will be my 1st birthday gift to everyone with a baby that I know! -Angela Maltman
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Matt McDowall on November 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've been reading quite a few books on toddlers lately, and this is one of the best I've come across. It helped me a lot in terms of realizing what's going on with my 2-and-1/2-year-old, and I'm dealing with him a lot better since reading it. A lot better. Basically, Lieberman is talking about the one essential thing that goes into good parenting: balance. But she does a very good job of filling in the details, and helping you to really ACHIEVE that balance in your parenting.

I'm not giving it five stars, though, because there are two sections that I would really recommend skipping entirely. One has already been mentioned by another poster, and that's the bit on behavioral disorders. I don't accept mariem's criticism, though, because this really was a discrete section of the book, and easy enough to simply skip. As far as I can tell, I didn't miss anything by doing so.

The other section I skipped was the section on sleeping. A lot of this book seems to be in line with "attachment parenting" or whatever you want to call it, but on the subject of sleeping Lieberman is hard-line the other way. The section on sleeping is written entirely with the underlying premise that you will not, under almost any circumstances, be co-sleeping. Which, in my opinion, is just absurd. I think that, like most other aspects of parenting, that is a decision to be made. And in a book that otherwise does such a good job striking balance, her completely one-sided approach to this issue was out of place and, if I say so myself, pretty misguided.

But fortunately, that section is also easy to skip. And other than those two sections, it really is a great book. If you are planning on skipping those two sections, you can interpret this as a five-star review--I would highly recommend this book.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is unique. It is the only one available that talks to the inside world of the toddler: their frustations, their need to have you close but at the same time being independent. The book gives you practical advise to keep that in balance, never forgetting the individuality of your child. Having twin toddlers in the house I know this book has saved my sanity. There is a chapter that talks to the mother of a toddler, her challenges, her reality. I've never read anything that comprehensive. The book in general is easy to read and very well structured. It helped me make important decisions (i.e. take them to daycare or not). I recommend it highly.
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