Tuesday, January 11, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Making the "Terrible" Twos Terrific by John Rosemond



A few months ago I was nearly at my wits end with my 3-year-old son. A friend recommended this book and mentioned that the "terrible twos" for boys can sometimes hit later. I decided to give it a try. It took me a little while to get into Rosemond's writing style. He has a very philosophical approach to this development stage, but as I read on, this approach began to help me see my children (then 5, 3 and 1) in a different light. 

Early in the book he talks about stages of development and developmental needs. One of his biggest cautions in this area is television - which, according to Rosemond, contributes absolutely nothing to a child's developmental growth. As a parent of 3 young children (all born within 4 years), I admit, the television can be my best friend whenever I want to get something done. Reading his views on television in the beginning made me almost stop reading...after all, how can a man whose children are now grown possibly remember how time-consuming children are at this age and understand how heavenly it can be for mothers to have them sit in silence, if only for 30 minutes? But, I decided to continue reading with an open mind. After all, whose ever really said TV is good for kids? 

I can understand why there are negative reviews for this book. Rosemond's views are not always fun to read...especially if you are guilty of the behaviors he attacks (such as allowing your children to watch TV or sharing a "family bed"). At times my opinions differed from Rosemond's. I'm not a child psychologist, but as a parent of 3, I believe I have learned a little about parenting throughout the years that earns me some credibility. Rosemond would lose some points in my mind whenever he would discuss how his approach did not work with his first child (a boy) and then how he did it "right" the second time with his daughter and how that proved the method is effective. Having three children, I've learned that what worked for my first (a girl) didn't work for my second (a boy), and my third (a boy) seems to require his own individual approach to everything. I don't believe that one approach to anything when it comes to parenting is "one method fits all." However, the one main message I have taken away from this book is that when something doesn't work, re-evaluate and try something else. I feel like I've been given a new perspective on parenthood and a number of ideas for how to handle some of the main issues that parents deal with during the "terrible twos," which Rosemond explains can be anytime between 18 to 36 months. 

Overall, I recommend this book for parents (and caregivers) of young children.