Small children are notorious for their tantrums, excess energy and use of ‘No’ as a standard answer to any question. What can you do about it?

how toddlers thriveHow Toddlers Thrive is a book written by Tovah P. Klein, a psychology professor with more than thirty years of experience working with children. This in-depth parenting guide gives you a real insight as to how toddlers see and feel the world. It helps you to better understand a complicated process of child development and teach your kids useful skills like self-regulation, empathy and dealing with difficulties.

The book does not contain tricks to control your child. Instead, it focuses on how to respond to her fears and what motivations are likely to lead her to certain behaviors. Rather than giving strict instructions and formulating rigid rules, the author offers you a lot of real-life examples and general ideas. She leaves it up to you to adapt these principles to your specific circumstances: you are not urged but rather benevolently advised.

As the author never takes a condescending tone or pretends to be a guru, her suggestions are easy to accept and follow. Among other things, she stresses the importance of setting limits: there should be things that your kids are simply not allowed to do. The author, however, cautions parents against overprotection: kids should be given freedom to explore the world on their own. It is also important that children make mistakes. It’s as simple as that: to learn from their mistakes kids should have plenty of opportunities to fail.

The author also recommends that parents establish two-way communication with their children. You need to learn how to listen to your kids. If you do nothing but direct them and find their blabbering annoying, it is likely that you are making an error. You should also help your toddler to feel secure: for example, you should not take your kid out of the crib too early. Remember that from a small child’s point of view, the crib is a very safe place; kids should only get more freedom when they can manage it.

Some parents simply cannot resist the temptation to encourage their children to take part in structured educational activities. The author advises against doing this: for toddlers play is more important than anything else. She also recommends that you do not try to make your kids share their toys before the age of four. Shaming your kids is also something you should avoid doing: if you exert pressure on your kids to get them to do as you want, you can easily cause emotional trauma.

The author believes that parents often wrongly assume that their task is to make their kids happy. The author’s idea of parenting is that rather than concentrate on their kids’ happiness parents should teach children how to manage unhappy moments. Children need guidance when they have to deal with negatives of life, and the task of the parents is to provide a supporting environment that allows kids to achieve their full potential.