Here's a Spot Just for Banging Your Head, Sweetie!

Jul 2, 2001 (Updated Jul 2, 2001)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Funny, practical, intelligent, and contains real-life stories

Cons:Some people (not me) may say he is too strict

The Bottom Line: Typical of Rosemond, this book is funny and well-grounded in common sense


I have always been a fan of Rosemond, and this book is no exception.


Why are two-year-olds like this?

Rosemond says that if a newborn's thoughts could be decoded upon birth, it would probably be, "Wow! Look what I did!" Having no frame of reference, they literally think they created the world by opening their eyes.

Not only that, but adults treat him as if he ruled the universe. They tend to his every need immediately. "As he's being pushing through public places in his stroller, people are constantly approaching and kneeling in front of his portable throne, begging for the favor of a smile."

None of this is bad, and is, in fact, important. But when the baby gets to be about 18 months old, he starts to be told he doesn't rule the universe, and it makes as mad as hell!


The Books's Organization

Chapters include:
1. Understanding Your Two-Year-Old
2. Promoting Healthy Development
3. Creative Discipline
4. Adventures on (and around) the Great White Water Chair
5. No More Bedtime Blues
6. Territoriality and Aggression, or (Bap!) "Mine!"
7. Day Care vs. Parent Care, or "Who's Minding the Store?"

At the end of each chapter are several questions and answers, which were often my favorite parts. I believe the questions were actual letters he's received over the years, which made them particularly interesting. For example, one question was,
"We are very health-conscious parents who want our eighteen-month-old daughter to grow up physically fit. There's an exercise program for toddlers at a local health club, and we'd like to know your feelings about such things."
(Answer: Kids that age should be getting enough unstructured exercise at home.)


What is Rosemond's basic philosophy?

At the risk of simplifying, some things he says are:

1) It is the child's job to pay attention to you, the role model, not the other way around.
2) During this age, you can't correct all behaviors, and might have to live with simply containing some.
3) The "family bed" is not a good idea at this age.
4) A child should have a limited amount of toys, and they should be ones of "high play value," like block, crayons, and stuffed animals.
5) Television, no matter what the show, does nothing for a child's development, is a total waste of time, and should be very limited until the child is at least about six or seven.


He's Funny, Too!

I think this excerpt is hilarious:

The mother of a toddler screamed every time she arrived to her morning preschool program. The mother was convinced her child's reluctance to separate from her was indication of some deep-seated insecurity. I told her simply to encourage her daughter to scream.

So the next time they were on their way to the preschool program, the mother began saying things like, "This is a fine morning for screaming. You know, when you scream, I know you love me, so please scream this morning, okay? And scream real, real loud, because then I know you love me a lot!" When they arrived at the center, her daughter announced that she could walk in by herself. She probably didn't want to be seen with a mother who'd obviously gone over the edge. In any case, there was no more screaming.



He also discusses a situation where a boy had a habit of banging her head against the wall. Pointing out that the bigger a deal his parents make, the more he'll want to do it, Rosemond suggest they draw a circle with an "X" on the wall somewhere out of the way and say, "We know you like to bang your head, so here's your special place to do it," and demonstrate what a great head-banging place it is! Then, the next time the boy bangs his head, take him to his "place." Rosemond says the behavior should disappear within a week or two.


Final Thoughts

As another reviewer said, Rosemond spends some time talking about his own two children when they were that age -- both some things that worked, and some that definitely didn't. These tales are not only amusing, but keep the reader from feeling that Rosemond is superior to any other parent.

Since my only child is now only three months old, I can't speak specifically to how these techniques and philosophies can work. But as a schoolteacher for kids ages 4-14, they seem to pretty well-grounded and intelligent to me.


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