Posts Tagged ‘books’

Like magic, the screaming toddler is quelled

February 16, 2012

By Stacey Devlin

For more than 10 months, we fought with our three-year-old son, Tige.

Arguing, cajoling, pleading, screaming, reasoning, crying, everything –  and when all that failed, spanking. Nothing worked, and I started to think, is something wrong with me, or with him?

If you’ve ever heard of the book, Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline, that sums up our relationship.

In fact, I got that book and tried to find the key to making things easy, but when the answer didn’t jump out at me in the first 30 pages, I put it aside. I have little time for reading with now two little guys running around, and my desperation for an answer has left me impatient with any lengthy books on child-rearing.

Tige is beautiful, spirited, loveable, but trying.

When his little brother was born, Tige’s behavior got worse, and I found myself throwing tantrums right alongside him. After many long nights, relentless battles over dinner, clothes and manners, and prolonged frustration, I lost my patience.

I felt like I was out of control, and I was spanking him knowing that it wasn’t teaching him anything.  Frustrated, I talked with other moms at our church. They too had “spirited” kids.

Even though I desperately wanted Tige to listen, and for his behavior to improve, I didn’t want to take that spirit out of him.

One mom from church told me that of the 50 plus parenting books she’d read, the only one she really ever needed was 1, 2, 3 Magic.

I immediately got it.

1, 2, 3 Magic, Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 by Thomas W. Phelan revolves around the principle that children are not little adults. They can’t be reasoned with, they’re not going to see the light when you explain something time after time, and they can’t be reasonably expected to listen the first time you ask them to do something.

It’s all part of being a kid.

And so as we learn not to fight with them like they’re adults, we see that our job is to calmly help them understand that what they’re doing is wrong.

The great thing about this book is that it is quick to read. We covered it in about 45 minutes, and were soon resolved to be a 1,2,3 team.

So far, it’s been successful. When I see Tige complying with our requests using the 1,2,3 method, it makes me feel like a better parent. It’s tough not to get emotionally involved by forcing him to comply, but when I restrain myself – which is the underlying theme of the book – I feel calmer, and I see that he’s calmer too.

I’m hardly yelling anymore, and at the time of this writing, I haven’t spanked him in two weeks. I feel great and I can tell that he does too.

We move past one small obstacle at a time – but best of all, we’re happy as a mom and kid doing it together.


Humpday, Feb 24, 2010

February 23, 2010

A few tidbits to get us through the week …


There sure are a lot of people in my sphere of life who are having babies.

Little babies.

Such joy. Such stress. You get it all with all babies.

Here’s a few items that made life a bit easier during our stints with the lil’ dribblers.

The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips and Advice for Dads-to-Be, Second Edition

When we learned that we were having a baby, like so many moms-to-be, my wife began stocking up on how-to books for the expectant mother. I, also new to the parenting experience, followed suit only to learn that there are comparatively very few books out there to prepare us rookie dads to be as supportive as possible.

I found  this one, and from page one, I knew I had  a great guide in hand. Just about everything you want to know, need to know, and should know is in this book. It takes you through, stage by stage right up until and shortly after birth.

Trust me guys, Ok? If you’ve never been through pregnancy before, get this book. You’ll be glad you did. Moreover, she’ll be glad you did. And a happy, healthy mommy means a happy, healthy baby.


Your Baby Can Sleep: The Practical, Proven Method for Solving your Baby’s Sleep Problems

If you like corny, poorly produced videos, you’ll enjoy this. If you like corny, poorly produced videos that deliver amazing results – you’ll treasure it. It really works.

I’m sad to see they still do not sell this on DVD. It’s only offered in VHS format. But, that’s the irony of treasure, I suppose. If you read across the top banner of the box, there in purple, it reads, “RELIEF FOR EXHAUSTED PARENTS!” That sums it up.

They should just put that on the cover by itself, in big letters (and burn it to Blue Ray)


A Man’s Journey to Simple Abundance

On the back cover it reads, “For Women to Understand Men, and for Men to Understand Themselves.”

And though it doesn’t discuss in any great detail the art of raising babies, I think it is an important book for any young (or not young) dad to read if he is starting a family. In a very readable way, written by a vast crop of authors, it covers a collection of topics permeating a man’s life, from fear, risk, life and death, balding, balls, and hunting, to name a few.

It is informative at most, and enjoyable at least. As well as being a great guide and compass point in a man’s life, it becomes a literary companion all throughout fatherhood, to keep on the bed stand or nearby shelf.

Enjoy the jumps. Come back and see us when you can …