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Becoming the Parent You Want to Be: A Sourcebook of Strategies for the First Five Years Paperback – February 3, 1997

4.6 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This may be the best parenting book to come around in years. Laura Davis and Janis Keyser take a straightforward, real, and respectful approach to parenting and children. The book gives solid information on sound child development as well as specific tips that run the gamut from getting your child to sleep to dealing with fear of Halloween to toileting (toilet training) as a metaphor for learning to disciplinary issues. Based on nine principals that deal with issues of time, optimism, struggle, anger, balancing needs, and learning as you go, this book will help you discover and work with your own parenting philosophy.

From Booklist

Most new parents are eager for practical advice and support from others more knowledgeable about the needs of very young children. Davis and Keyser's guide compares favorably to the American Academy of Pediatrics' similarly substantive Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age Five (1991), as it presents a warm, upbeat approach to child rearing. Davis and Keyser assume children are eager to learn, and their parents, to participate actively in their education--a philosophy that animates the nine parenting principles, which include cultivating a spirit of optimism about your children, developing a vision for your family, understanding that parents are always growing, etc., that introduce and provide a framework for the rest of the text. Davis and Keyser weave tips, techniques, and personal stories together to address children's feelings, behaviors, bodies, and relationships fluidly, readably, and confidently. Kathryn Carpenter
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (February 3, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553067508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553067507
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By O. Peterson on December 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
I came across this book when my daughter was 3 after searching for a resource to better understand her developmental stages, and to give me some strategies to deal with things like tantrums and demanding behavior. After the birth of her sister, she was angry - and with me being so sleep-deprived, we were 'butting heads' and our relationship seemed to be going in a direction that worried me. I'm so glad I found this book. within the first 100 pages, I felt I already had gathered tools to improve our relationship. Unlike other books, this one teaches through REAL examples, and teaches you to truly see the child's perspective and that in turn gives you the understanding you need to make the right decisions. The moment I actually 'worked through' a tantrum and IT ACTUALLY WORKED I was stunned. I go back to this book so often - especially when in those weak moments I don't handle something the way I would have hoped - and through the real stories of other parents, you are reassured that you are only human and tomorrow is another chance to strive to make the best decisions you can for your child. I have recommended this book to every parent I meet.
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Format: Paperback
As everyone so far has written, this is a wonderful, empathetic book. It includes a wealth of information, in a depth rarely found in popular parenting books. As a single mom, I appreciated that the authors do not assume that everyone has the "ideal" two-parent middle class WASP family. However, although the book's subtitle says that it is for the first five years, I find some of its advice on infant care questionable. They think it is okay to let your baby cry to learn independence, if it agrees with the parents' values. They also wrongly claim that "...some children never lose interest in nursing..." and advocate adult-led weaning. Buy this book for helpful information about your toddler and preschooler, but for babies, see the books by Martha and William Sears (The Baby Book, Parenting the Fussy Baby and High Need Child, The Discipline Book) for a more sensitive approach.
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Format: Paperback
What a relief to stumble across this book as my son turns twenty months! The authors provide detailed discussions of how to construct a parenting philosphy that "honors the impulse" behind children's behavior in a variety of situations: play, toileting, sleeping (or not), physical activity, child care, conflict and friendship. It handles less frequently handled topics as well, such as young children's sex play, racism, and homophobia. The book is a strong advocate for parents. Having a family with children, they stress, is not a project of controlling children but rather of balancing interests between all family members. Unlike many parenting books, this work lets the parent reflect on what his or her own family's boundaries should be while offering information about children's possible perspectives in specific situations and ideas for respecting these perspectives. I also appreciated the invitation to think about one's own upbring in order to create a set of practices to model for our own children. Single parents, gay parents, and parents of non-Christian faith are all actively included in the examples, which are helpfully and skillfully drawn from one of the author's parenting groups. In a welcome departure from many parenting books, fathers and men are also considered to be equally capable of and interested in raising their children. I have enjoyed incorporating the author's ideas into my daily interactions with my son and husband. I suspect that many other parents who don't fit into the "What to expect..." advice series would as well. Several friends will be getting this as a gift for the holidays!!!
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Format: Paperback
I have read a lot of parenting books and I really love this one. It talks about children's feelings and also the feelings of adults. This book is not just about raising your children, but also raising yourself. She talks about the way society sees things and how we shouldn't worry what society thinks. It also talks about the way we were taught by our own parents and how that can come out with your own children. It shows that feelings of sadness, anger, embarrassment are all natural and we need to let our children know that, but to teach them to express those feelings in good ways. I think this book is a must read for any parent. We need to view our children like they are.....little people with feelings. They are not our property. We are here to guide them and to teach them.
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Format: Paperback
I believe that if children could tell us what to think about them and how to listen and talk to them, then this is the book they would have written to their parents. The authors have covered almost everything there is to consider about parenting. And, they have done so in a heartfelt manner with a compassionate tone. Each parent is encouraged to explore their own needs, wishes, and feelings about parenting, as well as their own childhood history. However, this is DEFINITELY NOT a "therapeutic" workbook. Rather, this is a book about choices, differences, expectations, and feelings. It is so easy to over-identify with our young children and to want to make life better and even PERFECT for them. The authors acknowledge this and then take us one step further...young children know what is; they live in the moment, thus our children don't expect us to be perfect so why do we expect it from them? I will be giving this book forever as a gift to friends, family, and colleagues. This book is a gift!!!
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