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Your Two-Year-Old: Terrible or Tender Paperback – July 15, 1980

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Louise Bates Ames is a lecturer at the Yale Child Study Center and assistant professor emeritus at Yale University. She is co-founder of the Gesell Institute of Child Development and collaborator or co-author of three dozen or so books, including The First Five Years of Life, Infant and Child in the Culture of Today, Child Rorschach Responses, and the series Your One-Year-Old through Your Ten- to Fourteen-Year-Old. She has one child, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
 
Frances L. Ilg wrote numerous books, including The Child from Five to Ten, Youth: The Years from Ten to Sixteen, and Child Behavior, before her death in 1981. She was also a co-founder of the Gesell Institute of Child Development at Yale.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; 4th Printing edition (July 15, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440506387
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440506386
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
Yes, this series of books can be a bit out of date in places. But if the reader recognizes and accommodates that, these are still -- by far -- the best books of their kind on the market. Like the others in this series, this book addresses the timeless issues of appropriate developmental milestones, including cognitive abilities, interaction with others, attention span, language recognition, interpersonal relationships, etc.
The text is reasonably neutral and instructive on hot topics such as discipline, sleep habits, and diet.
We have found this series of books to be an outstanding resource. If you look in the back of the popular Doris Herman book about preschool, you will find that she does, too.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Oak Parker on March 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is great at describing child behavior for this turbulent year. Its strength is in giving comfort to parents that they are probably doing a pretty good job. Yes, everyone tells you twos are hard, but this book spells out exactly how and why. Really leaves you with a sense of comfort that the spoiled egocentric behavior is not lifelong, but a necessary development.
The book does not claim to offer a solution or be the perfect expert (thank you!), but gives a few suggestions to parents to get through this period of development. I left my reading of it feeling much better about my parenting job.
Some of the language is dated (as are most classics), but I hang onto the statement, "every mother of a 2 1/2 year old needs plenty of breaks." Although one commentator questions the author's suggestion to limit choices at 2 1/2, she seems to limit that to this tough period where the child has a lot of new things happening. Limiting choices really helped in our case.
I recommend this book for any parent with a two year old.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
This series of books (Your "X" Year Old) is a helpful reference for the parent. While in certain places the information seems dated or offbeat, generally the books are very helpful. They are at their best when recounting detailed observations of what "typical" two year olds say and do. Suggestions for "techniques" of getting through daily tasks with the two year old are helpful. A needed reassurance that neither you, nor your child, is abnormal.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By "ddjn42" on April 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
During his years as director of the child development institute at Yale University, Arnold Gesell pioneered techniques for observation of infants, children, and adolescents. He emphasized the kinds of norms or behaviors found to be associated with certain ages. Gesell is the father of developmental norms. This book, as well as the others, are developmentally based. Many books out there are not. This book is terrific for 1st time parents and others who simply don't know what is normal behavior.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
This review covers ALL of the "Your ___ Year Old" Books, from the Gesell Institute of Human Development; I own nearly all of them, from Your One Year Old up to Your Nine Year Old.

These books are slim, fast reads with lots of really helpful observations and advice. Especially helpful to me: the explanation of the different phases between equilibrium and disequilibrium that virtually every child goes through; in later books the concept of "inwardized" vs. "outwardized" behavior is discussed and explained. These concepts were of critical importance to me in understanding the "whys" of puzzling behavior changes with my children.

Each book has the same basic layout of chapter headings, from "Characteristics of the Age", "The Child and Other People" (i.e., with mother, father, siblings, friends),"Routines, Health, and Tensional Outlets", "Discipline", "General Interests and Abilities", "The Child's Mind", and so on. The layout makes it quite easy to flip to whatever issue you are currently interested in.

They also (in some of the books) address possible food sensitivities, which I think particularly important; also very helpful -- each book has a section with advice on the planning of the birthday party for the age (with developmentally appropriate advice on how many to invite, what to expect, etc.).

My only complaint is rather minor: the pictures and some of the wording chosen are quite dated at times, which understandably might hinder credibility for some readers. However, the main concepts are not in any way altered by this. My own mother got a good laugh out of the pictures and commented that the kids' clothing and haircuts looked exactly like my siblings and I did back in the 70's!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The book offers a parent an understanding of both the physical and emotional development of two year olds. It shows how the two relate to behaviors and how different personalities handle this stage of development. The information is well organized and easily understood.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Deborah V VINE VOICE on October 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
I see some of these reviews are attacking the book for being outdated. Since it was written in 1976, yes, some of the scenes or circumstances are not quite what we expect in 2009 in regards to family units.

However, that said, the book contains some really good nuggets of information for dealing with a two year old child. How many of us read a nonfiction how to or self help book and find every single iota of information is of use to us? I assume not many.

I read the book back in 1985 when my son was two. And now I'm rereading as my granddaughter hits two. The information I find to be of use includes the chapter on revisiting the characteristics of the age. The next chapter gives some techniques to handle a two year old and since it has been about 23 or so years since I've dealt with one, the review is a good one.

Even though it has been over 30 years since this book has been published, there are some useful charts about behavior that are still true today. There is also a nice resource in the back of good toys for a two. The toy list is of course centered around the toys available in the late seventies, but they are general and you should not have trouble finding the toys today or substituting like ones. For instance they recommend play-doh, legos, and dolls as well as books, balls and chalk. They are broken up by activity or skill.

If you can get past the 1976 copyright date, you'll find some valuable information for dealing with a two year old. I kept all of the books in the series and find myself referring to them as needed as the grandchildren pass each birthday.
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