The Pocket Parent
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262 of 269 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2001
I have twin 2-year-olds and a new baby. Needless to say, I find my patience, parenting skills and sanity being tested daily! Sibling rivalry (including occasional hitting and biting), anger towards the new baby, not listening, whining, separation anxiety, bad words, tantrums in public...what's a mother (or father) to do when you've simply had it? "The Pocket Parent" has become a part of the essential "stuff" that I carry around with me. Because of it's size and A-Z arrangement of topics, I can look up some ideas to try on the spot. The humor and empathy throughout the book help comfort me in the thought that I am not alone and that I am a good mother in the midst of a very important and sometimes very challenging job. I have noticed that since I have been using this book that I often try to take a few moments to think before I speak. I am proud of that, because I find my communication with my children to be more respectful as well as more effective in gaining their cooperation. "The Pocket Parent" lifts my spirits-especially on one of those days when everything that can go wrong,does. I also appreciate the fact that there are many "Daddy" anecdotes included in the book. My husband and I found it very helpful to read suggestions together, followed by discussion for a few minutes before we go to sleep when we have a specific problem. I highly recommend "The Pocket Parent" for every parent that has questions about their preschooler.
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163 of 168 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2001
"The Pocket Parent" is a wonderful, easy-to-access resource, which parents of preschoolers will surely refer to again and again. It offers practical, hands-on suggestions for handling many challenging, everyday parenting situations-often even supplying the words that parents can use. Readers will recognize themselves and their children in the real-life anecdotes the authors have chosen to illustrate their sound advice.
I love many features of this book, but one of my favorites is the "Take Heart" section in every chapter. Each begins with "You're not the only parent who...," and offers reassurance (and alternative strategies) to parents who may feel they've "blown" a parenting situation.
I highly recommend this book. In fact, I predict that it will become a classic-trusted and frequently used by parents of two-to-five-year-olds.
-- Blakely Bundy, M.Ed., Executive Director of the Winnetka Alliance for Early Childhood and President-Elect of the Chicago Metropolitan Association for the Education of Young Children
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92 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2003
I currently have twins about to turn 3, as well as a 6 year old and a 1 year old. Needless to say, the practical advice found in this book is priceless. Having looked at several books on parenting, this book stands out because of it's simple style, yet completeness in covering the topics addressed.
For all of the main areas that most parents have to deal with (tantrums, potty training, getting kids to bed, etc) this book has a section devoted to it - first with a simple question and answer dealing with the issue. Then, a list of tons of practical suggestions, briefly written with entertaining examples - this is the real meat of the book in my opinion - it's like all of the practical advice everyone has ever given on a topic is condensed into that part of this book. Then, each section ends with a bottom line conclusion. These "bottom lines" basically act as that little bit of support every parent needs to deal with the frustration of having kids.
My bottom line is: this book is a really great resource. It definitely makes the perfect gift for new parents, or even as a parent gift for the kids' birthdays. Believe me, a parent will appreciate it!
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2005
My wife and I continue to find this refernce book to be the most helpful guide we own for suggestions in dealing with the challenging behavior of our 2 and 3 year old sons for 6 reasons:

1. We love the overall tone of the book and sense of humor throughout from the authors who are also parents themselves. We feel comforted that we are not alone in the daily challenges we face with our toddlers.

2. Pocket Parent clearly taught us (formerly very permissive parents) how to become STRICT disciplinarians who no longer allow our children to "rule the roost" and get their whining demands met all the time.

3. Pocket Parent offers hundreds of POSITIVE sensible strategies of how a parent can remain in COMPLETE CHARGE of the misbehaving child WITHOUT resorting to the more "automatic negative parenting pilot" reponses of yelling, nagging, bribing, threatening, ...(which were not working most of the time for us anyway!).

4. Pocket Parent suggestions (called sanity savers) are very practical and parent friendly...the book is not clinical nor condescending with "shoulds" and "donts" from "holier than thou experts."

5. Pocket Parent covers every behavior you can think of in an easy alphabetical, quick read bulleted format. We keep our copy in the bathroom to QUICKLY refer to again and again in our few moments of peace.

6. Pocket Parent is fun to read and priced very reasonably...this year's stocking stuffer for all our friends with 2-6 year olds.
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2003
I have finally found the book I have been looking for! It is perfectly sized to consult at a moment's notice; all you have to do is look it up...40 worrisome issues are addressed such as ANGER, BEDTIME, BAD WORDS, CHORES, DEATH, FEARS AT NIGHT, THE "GIMMES", LYING, MEALTIME, MORNING "CRAZIES", POTTY TRAINING, SEPARATION ANXIETY, TANTRUMS, WHINING, and more. It is written the way friends talk to each other...with compassion, humor and excellent practical advice. The format is geared to busy parents-- hundreds of quick bits of wit and wisdom to help a parent restore his or her sanity! The authors call the bullets of tips..."Sanity Savers". I love the short anecdotes that illustrate the skills, often demonstrating the exact words to try in order to communicate more effectively with a preschooler. I found myself laughing out loud as I recognized myself and my children in the many examples of daily battles. I love the "Take heart" section in each chapter that reassures parents that they are not the only ones who sometimes regret what they have said or done. We all need to hear that sort of thing over and over again. Many of the sensible suggestions have been working for us. I highly recommend this book; it is the only quick-read A-Z book for parents of pre-schoolers that I have found on the market.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2003
I find this book to be immensely helpful with the everyday struggles I face as a parent. The authors give multiple strategies so I can find the ones that will suit my situation. Aside from the appropriate and helpful advice, the book's greatest selling point is how easy it is to use. It literally provides parenting problems with excellent solutions in accessible alphabetical order (in a convenient size to carry in your bag).
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2004
Pocket Parent is our favorite toddler/preschool troubleshooting handbook for all those challenging behaviors that test your sanity... like power struggles, desrespectful attitude, quibbling siblings, bad words, potty training, lying, biting, the gimmmes, not listening, tantrums, whining and many others.

I love the easy to use A-Z format of this pocket guide written in hundreds of concise bullets of helpful suggestions and short anecdotes illustrating the point.

Written exclusively for the parents of 2-5 year olds, Pocket Parent is the very best book on the market today for practical tips, compassion and humor for both moms AND dads at a very reasonable price. My husband appreciated the oh-so-true dad stories (as many books are geared more to the moms).

Pocket Parent has lessened the yelling and punsihing in our house and we strongly recommend it to every family to consult as they need it. This book does not have to be read cover to cover. Each chapter stands alone and you can pick up some ideas to try in less than one minute. Also available in Spanish called "Manual para Padres."

PS...I noticed that many of the same communication techniques work very well on my 40 year old husband, too!
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2004
The Pocket Parent is an amazing collection of upbeat sanity saving suggestions on every possible challenging behavior you can think of...Bad words, Bedtime, Biting, Chores,the Gimmes, Sibling Fights, Lying, Interrupting, Morning Crazies, Potty Training, Whining and more. I learned that inorder to change my child's behavior, I will probably need to change my approach first.

This book with almost 400 pages is easily portable (4" X 8") and is loaded with compassion and humor from the two authors who "have been there, done that" raising their own children right along with us. There is nothing in this book that you don't already know...it's just that we forget the communication options we can choose to use instead of automatically reacting by yelling, bribing, nagging, threatening, criticizing and punishing in the heat of the moment. I keep saying to myself as I read this book..."That makes so much sense...why didn't I think of that?" But it's never to late to improve... and things are definitely better at our house.

My favorite part of the layout of the quick read bullets of information are the short true to life anecdotes. It's as if the authors had been looking in my window as my 3 and 4 year olds push my buttons!

I truly feel comforted that I am not alone in the trials and tribulations of raising a toddler/preshooler.

I especially appreciate the annotated list of 120 books to read with 2-5 year olds relating to each behavior topic. That list is worth the price of the book all by itself. My child loves to hear stories about other children that misbehave.

This book is a reasonably priced gold mine. Keep in handy either in the bathroom or on your bedside table for quick reference in your very few minutes of peace.

If you have a 2, 3, 4, or 5 year old...this book will give you ideas to try as well as make you laugh on almost every page.

Pocket Parent does not have a single "Should" or "Don't" in the entire book. I had the pleasure of hearing the author who recently visited our Connecticut school district say, "The true experts of any child are his own parents. No one knows a child better than his mom or dad. So it is the job of each parent to take these ideas and filter them through their own personality and parenting style to see what strategies make good sense for their family. And if one works once...be grateful! It may not work again!"

There are hundreds of tips, insights and techniques to try in this book. My daycare bought a copy for all 75 family at the center.

Thank you to the authors for a practical, uplifting compassionate guide that I refer to again and again. The support and ideas I have found within these pages help to refill my "love tank" so that I can be in a better emotional place to respond more sanely to the challenges my children throw my way.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2003
I had the pleasure of attending the talented author's Positive Discipline Presentation at the Chicago area's GOAEYC Conference recently. Her sense of humor and compassion both as an early childhood professional and mother is evident throughout the book. I have been using this book as a resource with the parents of the children in my care to give them ideas (in writing by someone other than me) of short easy to read suggestions of things to say and do that have worked for me. Then we will literally be on the same page--working as a team both at child care and at home to help the child. My Early Child Care Association purchased 150 copies of this book to give to our providers at a conference that we held on Communication in Child Care. It was very well received! So much so that we have asked Gail to speak at our next conference! This little book is a supportive, informative manual loaded with ideas without that annoying, preachy, sometimes condescending tone and is an ideal size to take with you anywhere!
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2005
In December, the Chicago-based author of this book spoke to parents and teachers in our school district in San Jose, CA where she received a standing ovation. She totally WOWed us with her enlightening, encouraging and very entertaining style. Those same three words describe her easy reference very popular guidebook (with almost 100,000 copies in print).

"Pocket Parent" is quite unique and very well-priced--considering the wealth of information and friendly support offered between its 400 hundred pages...all targeted to moms AND dads with children in a most challenging 4-year age span...2's, 3's, 4's and 5's.

This book offers clearly organized, very specific information on a variety of behaviors with compassion, experience, and humor.

THE POCKET PARENT is designed for busy parents to refer to as needed--each chapter stands alone. It is written in quick bullets of information rather than paragraphs so you do not have to read the entire book cover to cover to get a couple of ideas to try immediately (or later as things calm down).

The practical information is combined with insight and long term understanding towards successfully changing behavior...both the child's and the parent's.

"Pocket Parent" is literally a pocket-sized (4" X 8") A-Z guide, addressing every challenging situation you can think of such as...Anger, Bad Words, Bedtime, Biting, "Gimmes", Hitting, Interrupting, Listening, Lying, Mealtime, Morning "Crazies", Potty Training, Power Struggles, Tantrums, Time-Outs that aren't working...and much more.

I keep this book handy on my bedside table--ready to give me some strategies to try for the next day... along with a much needed "verbal hug" when I'm feeling guilty that I've been a frazzled, failure of a mother earlier that day. "Pocket Parent" is definitely NOT preachy nor condescending from "holier than thou" experts. The authors include many humorous anecdotes (some personal regarding their own children) that truly hit home from beginning to end. Those are my favorite parts of this book.

I highly recommend this comprehensive, parent-friendly reference book that offers sanity saving advice and support from beginning to end.
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