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The Girlfriends' Guide to Toddlers Paperback – February 1, 1999
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Beyond child development theory and experts, beyond the "shoulds" and the "don'ts" that guilt-ridden parents constantly hear echoing in their ears, there's Vicki Iovine, America's favorite "girlfriend" and mother-in-the-trenches. In The Girlfriends' Guide to Toddlers, Iovine's third addition to her parenting panoply (The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy and The Girlfriends' Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood) Iovine focuses, for the first time, more on the child than on the mother. (Toddlers always get all the attention, don't they?) Iovine is wise, and not just because she's read all the current parenting literature (she has) or heard it from her famous mythical "girlfriends." Iovine knows what she's talking about because she has four young children and she's been through it all. In her ongoing vision of parenting, humor and a network of friends play an important role, bribery has its place, discipline is sensible and loving, and advice is grounded in the practical rather than the theoretical. From "Eating (or Not)" to "Discipline" to "The Comfort Zone" (Binkies, Bankies, Loveys and Thumbs) to Potty Training ("What's the Big Rush?") to "Sleepy Time" to "Fashion" (yes, it's an issue for toddlers), Iovine continues her mission to inform the contemporary parent, to tell the truth, to boldly go where many child development experts have gone before, and to keep her readers laughing while she does it. --Ericka Lutz
From Publishers Weekly
Child magazine columnist and author of several other Girlfriends' Guides, Iovine offers entertaining anecdotes and sage advice on raising kids from ages one to three. What makes Iovine an expert? The mother of four openly admits her main qualification is that she and her friends have spent many years raising their own toddlers, and she states that her advice?anecdotal and emotional?isn't endorsed by medical professionals or nutritionists ("we [Iovine and her girlfriends] don't know our enzymes from our electrolytes"). That said, this seasoned mom knowledgeably walks readers through the toddler trenches, covering such age-appropriate concerns as potty training, play dates, sleep and eating habits?with an emphasis on how mothers can cope. Though Iovine is witty, she can also be philosophical and sentimental, as when she talks about what a toddler really is (somewhere between a baby and a child) or about how?for mothers?a child's "first cut is really the deepest." Iovine's fans will be delighted with this latest volume in the Girlfriends' series, and new mothers warily approaching their child's toddlerhood will find that Iovine's take on these challenging years is as reasonable as that of any "expert"?and quite a bit funnier.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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I love Vicki's brand of tongue-in-cheek loving sarcasm. Yes, she loves her kids, even though they make her insane. There were some great ideas in this book and it's a fun read. None of the Guides replace a good medically-sound, well researched book, but they are way more fun to read and less likely to freak you out!
You read her guide and are left feeling pretty certain that by the fourth trip down the toddler taming trail, Iovine has learned which stuff is worth sweating about and which is not. Despite the humourous format, I found a lot of practical information in this book. Her format is to share the (sometimes bitter, sometimes joyful) experiences of her and her Girlfriends and much of the resulting advice is so sensible and appealing e.g. her tips for playdate success are just excellent. I really enjoyed this book, loved the intimate chatty style and got almost teary with heartfelt recognition at her "Top 10 things we'll miss most about toddlers". She may be criticised for being so obviously white and affluent, and will this can influence your feeling of "sameness" with the author, it doesn;t reduce the sense and practicality of the tips offered in the guide. Toddlers who won't give up their binkies, eat vegetables or potty by 2 appear across all social, racial and financial boundaries, and the suggestions for dealing with this do too. Give this book a try for a more intimate and less rigid insight into the joys and trials of toddlers.
I'm relieved that I don't have to fight with my son over his pacifier habit and I don't have to stress about potty training him at a time that is obviously way too early for him. Thank you Vicky for making me realize it's ok to listen to my own intuition on what's best for my children.