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Helping Young Children Flourish
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2000
Reading Helping Young Children Flourish was so eye-opening for me! Aletha Solter's understanding of children and childhood made such sense to me, gave words to things I have experienced when spending time with children. I especially love how respectful she is of children and how she helps adults trust in kids and their natural development. I'm a teacher, and recommended this book to the parents of the children in my classroom.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2004
This book is an excellent source of information and guidance for anyone caring for children between the ages of two and eight years of age. It gives a well-researched picture of the emotional world of such young children, offering the reader a deep and rich understanding of the child's world within the context of the home, family, school and wider world. In my opinion, this is one of the most informed books about children available today. Along with Dr Solter's two other books (The Aware baby and Tears and Tantrums) it has been a constant source of information for me, and I have consistently referred to it during my years as a mother.

This book is well written and researched, and offers the reader a sound understanding of the child. It has helped me to move from a situation where I was `coping' and `managing' as a parent, to being a confident mother who understands her child's needs and, importantly, knows how to go about meeting those needs. The information has been invaluable to me, and my children are healthy, relaxed and happy examples of the wisdom I have gleaned from Dr Solter's work. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to parents and caretakers of young children.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2006
Solter explains WHY children behave the way they do. Once you understand that, it becomes pretty obvious why you need not shout at them or physically discipline them. She goes further and suggests ways around common problems and issues.

I found some of the suggestions did not work for me, but the background reasoning was sufficient for me to first understand WHY and then come up with my own solution.

Format is question and answer, all q&as being logically grouped together. Makes it very saey to just dip into and zoom into a particular issue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2013
This book is useful for parents who are looking to change their response patterns when dealing with a 2.5 year old's tantrums. It offers advice and many examples on how to respond to specific situations (e.g., when your child is crying, when your child is upset, when you have to take it to the doctor) with children aged 2.5 to 8 years. The book includes wonderful advice, which at times is hard to put into practice. It is useful for us as we are learning to deal with our first child. The book dates back to 1989, so its research is somewhat dated, yet its advice remains very useful. An updated summary of Aletha Solter's approach may be viewed on her "awareparenting.com" website.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2011
I just finished reading this, from the Library, and will most likely buy it. After reading Naomi Aldort's book, Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves, I was intrigued with this style of parenting, but left with a lot of questions as to how to really make it 'work.' This book answered all of those questions! After reading, Helping Young Children Flourish, I feel confident as a parent that I can help my children deal with their strong emotions, and problems- at the root of the problem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2011
The information in this book made so much sense to me. I feel that I understand my 4 year old son better, and the information I gleaned from the book has helped me to be more patient with him. We had already been following attachment parenting guidelines, but the information in this book filled in some gaps in my knowledge. I recommend it to anyone with young children (or even older children).
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on March 16, 2012
I've really been thinking about Helping Young Children Flourish, and so I've written a review for Amazon. Here it is:

Helping Young Children Flourish works great as
1) a survey of today's parenting landscape,
2) a quick reference when you're in a tight spot, and
3) a great starting point in the parenting literature.

She doesn't go into extensive exploration to support her claims, but hands down advice like your mother would do. This advice, succinct as it is, rings true, intriguing, and at times provocative. She does refer to other great books from authors like Alfie Kohn, Thomas Gordon, and Virginia Axline.

The author explains a lot about children's needs, how they express those needs, and how our reaction to these expressions feeds back into the loop. Basically, children need attention and affection, safety and an appropriate level of autonomy, and freedom to express themselves. Children need to cry and will even at times orchestrate a pretext for themselves which will allow them to cry. Children need to confront their fears through crying, laughing, and playing in order to surmount them. If we pay enough attention to our children's needs and help them get these needs met, then there shouldn't be many discipline problems in the first place. She goes beyond Playful Parenting and insists on laughter as a requirement for healing hurts and fears.

This book doesn't give you steps or a method to follow in times of conflict. For that you need to read Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon or Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort. But it gives you a compelling introduction to the idea that children do not manipulate their parents and do not need to be controlled by adults to do the right thing. She gives tons of food for thought and I have a feeling that my next exploration will be into the idea that living with unmet needs leads to what we call ADD.
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I was looking for a book to give me some fresh insight on the issues our family is now dealing with. Our children are approaching ages 2 and 3, so my husband and I found ourselves questioning our natural instincts on managing behaviors or answering questions (such as expression of feelings, "Why?" and explaining death.)
This book does a remarkable job at explaining behaviors, needs and actions such as tears, fears and learning. Truly outstanding book! Highly recommended. The author has some amazing ideas on parenting that just make sense! Our family has already benefitted tremendously from Solter's ideas and strategies. Read this book, you will be so happy you did!
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on April 10, 2014
Dealing with toddlers in a loving way can be quite a challenge, especially when they're screaming their desires at you after you've already clearly indicated yours. Solter helps us to see behind the screaming to the wonderful heart of the child and understand what's going on there. It makes for a much happier child, one who's understood and allowed to express himself, even when he doesn't get what he wants. She also helps us to take charge in a gentle way that doesn't create a battle of the wills. There are many wonderful ideas in this book for many different situations and topics. I highly recommend it!
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A good addition to the attachment parent's library. It is a relief to understand that temper tantrums are not so much about children "controlling" parents as trying to get what they need. Attention is a legitimate need.
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