Your Three-year-old

Your Three-year-old

Friend or Enemy

Book - 1987
Average Rating:
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A three-year-old is a real puzzle to parents, sometimes anxious to please and befriend, sometimes strong-willed and difficult to get along with. At the heart of the three-year-old's personality is often an emotional insecurity--and this causes a host of problems for parents! Drs. Ames and Ilg, recognized authorities on child behavior and development, help parents understand what's going on inside that three-year-old head, what problems children have, and how to cope with the toddler who is sometimes friend, sometimes enemy.
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Included in this book:
* Jealousy of a new sibling
* Toilet training
* How to improve a child's eating habits
* Friendships with peers
* Common fears
* Developing language skills
* Nursery school
*nbsp;Books for parents and three-year-olds
nbsp;
"Louise Bates Ames and her colleagues synthesize a lifetime of observation of children, consultation, and discussion with parents. These books will help parents to better understand their children and will guide them through the fascinating and sometimes trying experiences of modern parenthood."--Donald J. Cohen, M.D., Director, Yale Child Study Center, Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology, Yale School of Medicine
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Dell Pub., [1987], c1985.
ISBN: 9780440506492
0440506492
Branch Call Number: 649.123 AMES
Characteristics: vii, 168 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.
Alternative Title: Your 3 year old

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susan_findlay
May 03, 2017

I read this book because I needed to read a book published in the year I was born for a reading challenge. Also, I have a three year old. To be more precise, I have a three-and-a-half year old. Which is apparently an enormous difference according to this book. Though, honestly, he's been a threenager for months; there was nothing magical about turning 42 months. And despite his forays into threenager behaviour, he's really quite lovely most of the time (unlike the demon child this book describes as the typical three-and-a-half year old).

So, this book was written in 1976, but it reads as if it was written in 1956 - or even 1946. Many of the scenarios and concerns are very very dated - especially the "letters from real mothers" chapter at the end of the book. "Letters from mothers" because, apparently, when this book was written, fathers didn't have any particular involvement in their children's upbringing (other than judging mother if he perceives that she's not doing a good enough job of raising the children). Keeping in mind that I was born in the year this book was published, I have to say that my childhood did not particularly resemble the one described in this book. I got to eat dinner with both parents; my mother did not "shelter" my father from my probably poor table manners.

Despite all this, there are a few interesting ideas about different stages of a child's physical and mental development. I was particularly intrigued by the idea of oscillation between stages of "equilibrium" and "disequilibrium". Unfortunately, the author doesn't really elaborate upon those ideas outside of telling her story of two different children - the lovely eager-to-please three year old and the stubborn angry three-and-a-half year old.

Many of the other reviews of this book have picked on the author's advice to let someone else look after your child when they're at a difficult age. I think that the value in that advice is "it's okay to ask for help, and it's okay to value your sanity". It's presented in a way that seems ridiculous to the modern parent - but I think that's mostly due to the fact that this book was written by someone who lived in a very different time (and it likely does a better job of reflecting parenting in the 1950s than even the 1970s in which it was actually written). There is real value in the old idea of "it takes a village to raise a child".

a
abroughton
Feb 21, 2013

This whole series has been so helpful to me in knowing what kinds of things to expect with our toddler and feeling calm knowing the root of certain (really frustrating!) behaviors that are normal parts of development.

t
Toskey
Jul 07, 2012

Despite its being somewhat dated, our pediatrician recommended this book as it contains a solid description of we can expect from our three-year-old over the next several months. It is a quick, reassuring read, and now I have a much better understanding of what behaviors are typical for a three-year-old. I also appreciate the compassionate, gentle voice in this handy book.

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