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Your Four-Year-Old: Wild and Wonderful Paperback – November 1, 1989
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Top Customer Reviews
The reason these books are still in print is that the BEHAVIOURAL information is GENERALLY on target.
I have found them to be the clearest and most concise behavioral information out there. They are meant to help parents discern when their child's behavior is "within normal limits/range" and when alarm bells should start to ring.
But any parent and many books with tell you the golden rule is: TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS! You know your child. Don't ignore the little voice that says something isn't right. This is a HELP book not an ANSWER book.
One person went so far as to say the books have no relation to the behavior she has seen in her 3 year olds, or anyone else's. All I know is that the authors did their best to go about their research scientifically, and I am sure their data was not extracted soley from abused, maladjusted children.
I am not a behavioral scientist, but I've found their results to be GENERALLY accurate. And I too teach children and have a few of my own.
I use many resources and I have not found Geselle Institute's books to be useless.
In spite of much dated material, the heart of it, the BEHAVIORAL information has been VERY useful. That is why I purchased these books.
For child "rearing" I go to my other sources (Playful Parenting, How to Talk so Your Children Will Listen, Siblings Without Rivalry, Parent Effectiveness Training, etc.)
Someone mentioned that children having violent fantasy's is abnormal and Giselle says that it is normal. I don't think Geselle meant continual, obsessive, gratuitously violent fantasies. At least I did not take it this way.Read more ›
I will write about the parts that I disagree with, in no special order:
1. Swearing is considered normal behavior, there are several references, and two are found on page 25 and 34. I disagree that this is normal. I feel the children will act and speak as they are spoken to, but the authors never state this. The recommendation is to ignore such talk completely. I feel this is the first of several areas where the role of the environment (family life, preschool, etc.) are completely ignored. Sometimes it seems as if the children are being evaluated in isolation instead of considering their environment. I'd rather have seen something said to the effect that if the child is exposed to profanity then they might repeat it so parents should not use language that they don't want their children to use.
2. Spanking is mentioned as one option for punishment methods. I feel this is an out of date recommendation as now child psychologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other experts are advising not to spank or use other such pain-inflicting methods as punishment.
3. TV viewing is pushed as a "great new things society has to offer for the preschooler". The authors write in a patronizing manner stating the stay at home mother has too much to do and can't possibly do it all so let the child watch TV. They state on page 32 that "it can be one of the best techniques for filling some of the day and for meeting Four's high demand for excitement, activity, and drama.Read more ›
Swearing and violent stories ARE totally normal for this age -- at least for boys -- even when there are no "horrible experiences" or other negative influences that the child has been exposed to. My son has never been spanked, watches almost no TV or movies, and has limited exposure to "four letter words"; this is also true of almost all of my friends' similar-age children and my son's preschool classmates. But I found the book's description of the child's fascination with violence and exaggeration of his own capabilities to be spot on. And something of a relief, as other reviewers have mentioned, precisely because so many people have the judgmental attitude that any child who likes to talk about "killing bad men" must be in a violent home.
As for the chapter on temperament being determined by body type, I found it completely bizarre. I have to assume this is just another example (along with recommending "rubber pants" for bedwetters and so on) of how dated these books are; perhaps this theory had some currency then? My advice to anyone who reads this book now is to just skip that entire chapter. It makes no sense at all and seriously detracts from the rest of the book. If you want to read about temperament in connection with children's discipline and education, check out Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's books.
I wouldn't call this book a must-have but if you, like myself, are a voracious reader of parenting books, it's worth adding to your library at the appropriate time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is excellent help in understanding our four year old. She's amazingly fun and bright, but exhausting. This helped me understand her better so I will (I hope! Read morePublished 12 days ago by Tracy Brown
This is our 4th book and I will continue to buy the next as our daughter continues to grow. (we have read all the others Your Baby - Your 4 year old). Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michelina
This is the second book I've read in the series. They do explain a lot to me about what my child is going through at different ages but they are a bit outdated in some of the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Robkat
I haven't read this one yet (I bought years 1-5) but they came highly recommended from a friend who's advice I completely trust, so I have high hopes! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Elizabeth Fine
These books are wonderful-such a help understanding the mind and development of my children:)Published 9 months ago by Misty T.