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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You know how we're always lamenting that there aren't any good books out there to describe behaviours and approaches for toddlers? I mean, with babies it is easy: you respond to their needs. With older kids you involve them in the process of discussing issues and problem-solving. But with toddlers it seems to be all about redirecting, etc. And I know many people struggle with knowing what a 2 or 3 year old is REALLY capable of understanding. ANd we have many requests for "where do I find out more? what books tell me what is right to expect and what is 'asking too much'?".<br><br>
Well, I found this book in the library, quite by accident, called "Innovations: Infant and Toddler Development" by Kay Albrecht and Linda G ******. It's part of a series written for early childhood educators (those teaching/caring for kids from birth to age 3), but it is written in lay terms and outlines all these things that we talk about here so much.<br><br>
It's really fascinating to see that so much of the research supporting gentle discipline goes back to the 70's even, and yet so sad to see how little of that knowledge has made it into the mainstream. The authors talk about the dangers of trying to simply eliminate behaviours, rather than considering emotional development as being as important and critical as physical development, and requiring just as much patience and thought. They also had a great chapter about separation, and how the old adage of "just leave quickly, they'll cry and get over it" is not in the best interests of the child at all.<br><br>
Anyways, if your local library has a copy, I urge you to pick it up. I'm writing some notes right now, and will bring up a couple of things for discussion. What's super nice is that it is all referenced. So next time your MIL says that you need to "nip that behaviour in the bud" you can refer to the study by So-and-So in the Journal of Child Psychology which refutes this "myth".<br><br>
More to come! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Thank you, Piglet! That sounds like a book I'm looking for . . .I'm feeling really lost lately with my toddler!
 

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Thanks, Piglet! I can hardly wait to see your notes. I just looked it up on Amazon & it says there's a companion curriculum book for 0-18 months. Sounds great! I wish I had the $ to buy a copy myself!
 

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Wow, adding that to my library list.<br><br>
I agree that it's sad that the research has been around for decades without reaching mainstream culture, but it isn't really surprising... I mean, we've known for like 50 years that smoking kills people, and it's only now gradually becoming socially unacceptable. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> Things like that take forever to really alter culture and behavior I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Chapter 2 is about separation and transitioning. It is written in the context of introducing a child to a new school or daycare environment, but is also applicable to other situations.<br><br>
This book advocates a "gradual enrollment" process whereby the parent attends the school/daycare with the child and stays with the child as the child plays or even just watches. The teacher does not interact at this time, but watches the child to guage his/her temperament, level of comfort, etc. The parent then talks with the teacher, allows the teacher's voice to become familiar to the child. The parent takes care of diaper changing, feeding, etc. Gradually the parent and teacher exchange roles, with the parent becoming the observer and the teacher interacting directly with the child. This process can take as little as a day or two (with young babies especially, or older children) but will take longest if the child is age 9 - 14 months, when stranger/situation anxiety reaches it's peak.<br><br>
The idea of parents just "leaving quickly and quietly" or "sneaking away while the child is engaged" are not considered appropriate. The authors comment on how this affects the child's basic trust issues, which are essential for further growth and development (go into this in much more detail in later chapters). They find that, in the long run, children who were introduced gradually, at their own pace, and in a way that respected their fears and needs and individual temperaments, had a more enjoyable experience overall from their school/daycare. Interestingly, parents who participated in "gradual enrollment" were more interested/involved in their child's progress, dropped out or removed their children with less frequency, and developed better relationships with the teachers/care providers.<br><br>
It has always been my sneaking suspicion that the old "just leave - they'll cry and get over it" message was inherently flawed. This message can be applied to any sort of separation situation, such as mom leaving for work in the mornings, or being left with a babysitter, etc. It also has implications even for parents who participate in classes/playgroups with their child, and how important it is for the parent to *actively* participate and be there for the child, rather than grab a book and sit back and watch.<br><br>
I'll go into more detail later about the issue of trust and how profound the implications are for further development.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">It has always been my sneaking suspicion that the old "just leave - they'll cry and get over it" message was inherently flawed. This message can be applied to any sort of separation situation, such as mom leaving for work in the mornings, or being left with a babysitter, etc. It also has implications even for parents who participate in classes/playgroups with their child, and how important it is for the parent to *actively* participate and be there for the child, rather than grab a book and sit back and watch.<br><br>
I'll go into more detail later about the issue of trust and how profound the implications are for further development.</div>
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FASCINATING!! Thank you for sharing.<br><br>
IIRC, did your daughter cry when you were/are leaving for work and then she is fine when you are out the door? Or am I mistaking you for someone else here? If that is you, what do you think in light of your experience?<br><br>
I left my son once (for the only time in his life, he is three) when he was 22 months with my husband so I could get my teeth cleaned after not having that done for three years. It was awful. He was sleeping when I left and woke up to dad and cried the whole time. I never forgave myself for that.<br><br>
But the first time it happened was when he was just six weeks old and he was asleep and my mom bugged me to hold him so I passed him off and stood right there as he opened his eyes, saw her, and burst into crying. Took him right back but I will always remember that feeling of regret.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, there were a handful of occasions when DD cried when I left for work. Fortunately they were very few. But I did feel that "leaving was best" since that is what people always say. And yes, she'd stop crying soon after (I'd listen at the door), but it still didn't sit right with me. I think the only reason I kept doing it is that it happened only a few times. If it was a regular thing, I might have looked into it further.<br><br>
What basically happened is I learned to read in her when was a good time and when wasn't. Now if I know she needs a minute, I'll give it to her. Usually she just wants someone to play with, and I'll get DH to colour with her or something. Then she is happy to just wave bye and go about her fun. These days, if she would cry it would be very unusual, and I would certainly take the time to make sure she was in an okay place before I left. But I don't know if the crying stopped b/c she "got over it", or whether it's because I became better at guaging the situation, and setting her up for success before heading out the door.<br><br>
I've had a busy weekend, but hope to write some more notes on other subjects for this thread again soon. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Thanks so much Piglet! I was just thinking that I really need to search for a book like this, so when I saw your post I was thrilled! I'll be staying tuned to this thread especially since our DCs are close in age.<br><br>
Oh, and I appreciate the mention of parents being involved when they bring their children to playgroups. We have a local playgroup and I'm one of the few parents who actually plays with my DS instead of exclusively socializing with the parents and letting DS fend for himself. But I get lots of strange looks, and one mom acted like I have an "anxiety" and/or "problem" because I do this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> , she kept grabbing my arm and trying to pull me over to the group of moms saying "he'll be fine" (she meant well, but <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> ).<br><br>
Thanks again!
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">It also has implications even for parents who participate in classes/playgroups with their child, and how important it is for the parent to *actively* participate and be there for the child, rather than grab a book and sit back and watch.<br></div>
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Oh, I just saw this when mamalita mentioned it. Could you discuss this a little more? I have the feeling that the situations with care are dealing with a trust issue, no? How does this relate to playgroup settings?<br><br>
I ask because I don't play with my daughter at our "playgroups". I get together with friends who have children and the adults play while the kids play together. Obviously, we're there for the children but we don't play with them.<br><br>
I'm not arguing at all. I'm just curious and would probably alter what I do somewhat if there was come compelling reason. Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ICM: because the book is written for teachers, one can only really extrapolate to the playdate situation. I would think this only applies to when you are first introducing your child to a playgroup where there will be a regular group of kids, and the child will have a chance to know them. And, since you will always be there, it's not quite as drastic as taking them to school or daycare for the first time. Also, it depends on the age of the child, this being written for age birth to 3 years. And, it's about transferring the role of caregiver from parent to another caregiver on a regular basis. So I guess the only real application to a playgroup situation is just making sure that your child IS comfortable where he/she is, before you go off with the other mamas. Sounds like that is what you are doing already.
 

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I'm in a daycare coop woth 6 other families, all our kids are between 15 months and 24 months. We're starting to have to have discussions about 'discipline' stuff. This book sounds like a great resource, I'm gonna try to find it.<br><br>
I'm also looking forward to more of your notes, thanks piglet!
 

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Oh, I should have mentioned that the reason I feel it is important to play with my DS at playgroups is because ours is a really large/community playgroup open to everyone in the area. Very relaxed and freeform. Since there is such a large group of children and since none of us is consistent about attending it's different than an organized playgroup at someone's home with only a few children/pals. In all honesty, the large group situation seems to stress DS (lots of stimuli) so I only go sporadically when I'm feeling desperate for adult contact of some sort. I hope my post didn't imply any judgement at people who do step back and let their DCs play without parents. That definitely wasn't my intention. . .<br><br>
xo
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
sadie: you would love this book! it even goes into how to set up the environment to maximize children's trust and comfort levels. It lays out step-by-step approaches to solving behavioural issues (in the context of the caregiver having to work with the parents, since parenting is not the primary goal of the caregiver - very sensitively done in this book).<br><br>
work has been pretty hectic, but i hope to post more, soon. Also would love to hear from anyone who gets their hands on the book!
 

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Piglet, I put in my order for the book via the public library . . .I asked for the companion guide as well . . .Can't wait to compare notes!
 
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