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Raising a Happy, Unspoiled Child (How Parents Can Help Their Baby Develop Into a Secure and We) Paperback – August 1, 1995


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Raising a Happy, Unspoiled Child (How Parents Can Help Their Baby Develop Into a Secure and We) + New First Three Years of Life: Completely Revised and Updated + The Happiest Baby on the Block
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Product Details

  • Series: How Parents Can Help Their Baby Develop Into a Secure and We
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (August 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684801345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684801346
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

According to White (The First Three Years of Life), director of the Center for Parent Education in Newton, Mass., disciplinary problems during the "terrible twos" are not inevitable. After spending nine years observing young children in their homes, he concludes that many difficulties-testing parental authority, refusal to share toys with playmates, etc.-can virtually be eliminated if parents are not overly permissive with children of more than five months old. Although White is obviously knowledgeable about child development, he does not factor in such environmental influences as divorce. Parents will want to try some of his recommended techniques, many of which are sound and readily implemented, but they would do well not to expect miracles. Illustrations. Psychotherapy Book Club alternate; author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Sound but timeworn advice on how not to create a two-year-old brat from popular author White (A Parent's Guide to the First Three Years of Life, 1980). The terrible twos don't have to be, claims White. No, there is a snake in the garden and its name is overindulgence: Spoil the one-year-old, and the two-year-old will just be a bigger, meaner version. Parents may find solace in some of the stories of really diabolical two-year-olds, but don't expect to find forehead- slapping, why-didn't-I-think-of-that suggestions from the good doctor--his recommendations have seen a few seasons come and go: Don't let your child become bored, keep him amused; set limits so that your child knows her place; make sure that punishment is appropriate to the child's age; don't be overly accommodating or rush to console after every minor mishap. As is often the case in books on parenting and child care, advice on how to deal with problems goes aggravatingly halfway. For example, if your child wakes up at 3:00 a.m. and demands to get out of bed, White suggests singing a short ditty explaining that it's time for sleep. Nice, but what next if the child doesn't buy the offered goods? Banishment for the child? Earplugs for the folks? White has nothing more to say on the topic, or on what course to take after the 15th unsuccessful timeout, or how to handle a tantrum when ``distancing'' doesn't do the trick. White leaves the reader with the impression that there are two classes of two-year-olds and the choice is yours: the hellion, a life-wrecking barbarian of your own making; and the berkind, full of humor, imagination, and originality, a young boulevardier ready for cafe society. What about the other 95%? (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Needless to say, this didn't help me.
Victoria J. Jourdan
This book emphasizes how one stage of a baby/toddler's development can affect the next.
Mag
This is a must read and must follow book for any parents.
scottl@inmagic.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 1, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have the nicest toddler I know, get compliments all the time on how reasonable and well behaved, confident and happy he seems to be, and I think that the advice in this book has been very important in achieving this so far.
This book only deals with children up until 3 years old, since that is the age range the author's research covered. The advice is based on years of in-home observation of many many families, watching babies develop through the first few years of life, so it isn't just the opinions of a pediatrician, or a parent, or an educator. The parenting practices he recommends are the ones that they saw work over and over in many different real families.
This book advises some very simple straightforward tactics, and advises you to stick to them over and over and over again, since a normal healthy child will test you over and over again to see if you will cave in, and how much power s/he has. You don't need a lot of options, you just need to stick to a few that work, and in my experience (with a willful kid, who was not a placid baby!), these work very well without making the child discouraged or inhibited in bad ways.
And, he didn't make me feel at all guilty, I wasn't bored by the writing, and I didn't find it hard to look things up - the book is organized by age stages, so you can just look at the chapter that covers the age your child currently is.
Another thing - his recommendations on toys and entertaining a baby are the best I've seen. He makes simple cheap toy recommendations, tells you what a baby really wants to be doing during each phase, and made it much easier for me to keep my son entertained!
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Anne Cresenzo on December 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am giving this book as shower gifts to all of my pregnant friends. Many of the books you read today regarding parenting children would lead you to believe that children who are bratty and spoiled just woke up like that one day. Dr. White believes that children have the ability to begin manipulation beginning at around age 5 months, and through experience, I know this is the case. I have been using Dr. White's suggestions and have found that although my child will throw "tantrums" every blue moon (she is two) - they only last a minute, never take place in public, and she knows that what Mama and Daddy says goes and that is that. Not a book for those parents who rationalize unruly behavior with the newfound assumption of the last 20-30 years that children are just "expressing themselves" when they lie on the floor in the Wal-Mart because Mama or Daddy wouldn't let them have some M &M's.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lea on April 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have three children -- my youngest will be 2 next month, and my oldest is 9. I bought this book when my oldest was a baby, and have found it to be a wonderful resource in raising my children.

Unlike some other reviewers, I found this book to have a lot of good practical advice -- I've also found, through the years, that most people who claim that "time outs don't work" are inconsistent with using them (at best).

The advice Burton White offers is a modified version of a time out -- one that is appropriate for younger children -- where you do not "abandon" them, but you do "remove" yourself from them by turning away. If you don't think a child under 3 realizes this is a punishment, just try it.

Before rushing to judgement on this -- or any parenting book -- you should first read the entire book to make sure it is in agreement with your own parenting ideas and style, then implement it without skipping parts. The ideas that you might decide aren't necessary might be the foundation that the rest of the program is built on.

I, too, disagree with using a teenage baby sitter in order to have time away from the children -- but the crucial part of this is the idea of "healthy selfishness", not the sitter or having the parents leave the house. I'm not in a position to leave my children with a sitter, nor would I want to -- but I do take time for myself that even the smallest understands as "mommy's time". They have learned, from their earliest memories, that every member of our family deserves the same rights and respect as every other -- no one person has more rights than the others.

For nearly 10 years now, I have enjoyed the benefits of this book -- literally every time I am out with my children, someone will stop and comment on how wonderful their behaviour is. My children are a joy to be around, and I believe this is entirely due to the parenting skills I learned from reading this book.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By T. Harrison on December 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
My husband and I were both hesitant to start a family, as we've found so many of our experiences with small children to be so very unpleasant. We had also heard quite a few experienced parents express the belief that a parent really has a pretty limited ability to shape their child's behavior (you know, the just-you-wait-and-see comments). Well, we're still waiting. We've got an absolutely delightful, polite, even-tempered two year-old. Luck, maybe? We don't think so; like White, we've noticed a pretty clear-cut correlation between parental behavior and toddler behavior. Do we feel we've failed if our toddler occasionally acts out? No, we just work at parenting a little harder. This book may not have in-depth or novel solutions to all parenting problems, but it offers solid approaches to shaping behavior. It helped us to feel more confident as first-time parents and it eased the oftentimes emotionally painful task of doling out disclipine to a small child.
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