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The Girlfriends' Guide to Toddlers Paperback – February 1, 1999

4.1 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Beyond child development theory and experts, beyond the "shoulds" and the "don'ts" that guilt-ridden parents constantly hear echoing in their ears, there's Vicki Iovine, America's favorite "girlfriend" and mother-in-the-trenches. In The Girlfriends' Guide to Toddlers, Iovine's third addition to her parenting panoply (The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy and The Girlfriends' Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood) Iovine focuses, for the first time, more on the child than on the mother. (Toddlers always get all the attention, don't they?) Iovine is wise, and not just because she's read all the current parenting literature (she has) or heard it from her famous mythical "girlfriends." Iovine knows what she's talking about because she has four young children and she's been through it all. In her ongoing vision of parenting, humor and a network of friends play an important role, bribery has its place, discipline is sensible and loving, and advice is grounded in the practical rather than the theoretical. From "Eating (or Not)" to "Discipline" to "The Comfort Zone" (Binkies, Bankies, Loveys and Thumbs) to Potty Training ("What's the Big Rush?") to "Sleepy Time" to "Fashion" (yes, it's an issue for toddlers), Iovine continues her mission to inform the contemporary parent, to tell the truth, to boldly go where many child development experts have gone before, and to keep her readers laughing while she does it. --Ericka Lutz

From Publishers Weekly

Child magazine columnist and author of several other Girlfriends' Guides, Iovine offers entertaining anecdotes and sage advice on raising kids from ages one to three. What makes Iovine an expert? The mother of four openly admits her main qualification is that she and her friends have spent many years raising their own toddlers, and she states that her advice?anecdotal and emotional?isn't endorsed by medical professionals or nutritionists ("we [Iovine and her girlfriends] don't know our enzymes from our electrolytes"). That said, this seasoned mom knowledgeably walks readers through the toddler trenches, covering such age-appropriate concerns as potty training, play dates, sleep and eating habits?with an emphasis on how mothers can cope. Though Iovine is witty, she can also be philosophical and sentimental, as when she talks about what a toddler really is (somewhere between a baby and a child) or about how?for mothers?a child's "first cut is really the deepest." Iovine's fans will be delighted with this latest volume in the Girlfriends' series, and new mothers warily approaching their child's toddlerhood will find that Iovine's take on these challenging years is as reasonable as that of any "expert"?and quite a bit funnier.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee; 1st edition (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039952438X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399524387
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #576,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kelly VINE VOICE on October 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'll start by saying that my husband and I have used a very different form of parenting than Vicki uses [We are what she describes as "those Hippies" who use Attachment Parenting and sleep together in one big bed like a "Pile of Puppies" - and we love it]. That having been said, I have thoroughly enjoyed this book [all THREE times I read it - and I'll probably re-read it again sometime when I need another lift]. I laughed until I cried reading this book and it ALWAYS gives me a fresh outlook on whatever stage I'm dealing with.
I don't advise using this book as your primary manual to caring for a Toddler. There are much better books out there for that purpose [In My Opinion - "The Discipline Book", "How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk", as well as "Attachment Parenting"]. But if you could really use a laugh and help getting some perspective on these hectic, crazy toddler years - this is the perfect book for it. [And what mother of a toddler couldn't use a laugh?!!] I've read all of Vicki's books [and enjoyed them], but this one is my favorite.
It seems from reading the reviews that people either love Vicki or hate her. I don't really understand the polarization. I think she's simply a very funny person who doesn't claim to be *anything* more than she is - just one mom who has been there and is sharing one way of coping. She repeatedly emphasizes that she's not a Physician, Psychologist, etc. I don't think people should take her books so seriously - they are meant to be funny, and they succeed brilliantly.
One thing that does carry forth very plainly in her books though: Vicki loves children very much and encourages us to parent with compassion. You can't fault her for that - this world could certainly use a little more compassion.
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Format: Paperback
I really like Vicki's sense of humor. Sometimes in the evening, when we have had a bad day,  my husband and I will read an excerpt outloud together and share a good laugh about something that nearly drove us crazy earlier. Vicki lets you know for sure that you are not the only one that has problems with your toddlers. She offers a variety of sensible strategies to choose from. She is not afraid to share in her book some of her own embarrassing, angry moments with her kids; and we find that very comforting. Her book is fun to read with its friendly "girltalk" style that most moms (or dads) with toddlers can relate to. It feels good to know that other kids say and do things that challenge their parent's sanity and that all of us regret what we say and do from time to time. We also recommend a quick-read A-Z guide called "The Pocket Parent" which has a similar compassionate friendly tone.   There are a variety of personal short anecdotes (many very funny) from the authors and other parents of 2-5 year olds.  However, along with the humor, "Pocket Parent" has way more "meat" as far as specific helpful "how-to's" to such troublesome behaviors as bad words, bedtime, biting, hitting and hurting others, interrupting, mealtime, morning crazies, the gimmes, separation anxiety, and whining. Both books give lots of support, a good dose of humor and sensible advice without being preachy nor condescending.
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Format: Paperback
Vicki Iovine has done it again. She has boldly gone where other parenting advice books dare not go--she tells the truth about parenting toddlers with a humorous approach. I think this book is a must have for the first time parent once their little darling reaches about his or her first birthday. The one thing you'll take away from this book is that there is no right or wrong way to approach a toddler issue (potty training, moving to the big bed), an approach I think all parents need to embrace. Ms. Iovine is not a pediatrician, a psychologist, or an professional "expert" of any kind, and she frequently reminds us of that. What she is is a mom of 4 kids (who have all survived toddlerhood), with lots of chatty friends. You will come away from this book feeling as if you have just been at a really useful girls' night out. I think the chapter on potty training alone makes the book worth getting. In certain instances, such as potty training, I believe that advice from the trenches, as this book is, is the most useful. This book is enjoyable to read, and quite funny in places, but I also think that I will reread certain chapters when undergoing one crisis or another as my toddler grows. Ms. Iovine also includes a really sweet top ten list of "Why we love toddlers" which with bring tears to moms everywhere.
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Format: Paperback
I greatly enjoyed the other two Girlfriends' books, but the Toddler one is the best yet. Most of all, it has helped me retain some perspective on these crazy toddler years, so that I haven't had to undergo premature dementia over eating struggles, sleeping (or not), tantrums, etc. This book was never intended by the author to be a comprehensive guide to every single physical and psychological aspect of early childhood! For that, I have the AAP Birth-5 Years book and the What to Expect series. The Girlfriends' Guide is more of a day-to-day survival manual, and it refreshes and reassures like a chat with your best mommy Girlfriend. If you actually READ the book carefully, you'll see that Iovine herself repeatedly advises the reader that she is NOT a pediatrician, nutritionist, psychologist or educator, and suggests many times that you use every resource at your disposal to get specific information. This is a very responsible approach, in my opinion.
As for the tone of the book being described as "put-upon" and exhausted, well, four toddlers will do that to you!
I am now eagerly awaiting the Girlfriends' Guides for the school-age and teen years. Keep up the good work, Vicki!
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