Sunday, May 11, 2008

Toddler Parenting

Ok. I have raved about Marc Weisbluth's book on getting an infant/toddler to establish good sleep habits. And I have raved and raved about Diane Moore's book here and here, which is excellent for kids starting at about kindergarten age (maybe a touch younger). But there is a sizable age gap that MUST be filled. So, my next raving will be Elizabeth Kruegger's book "Raising Godly Tomatoes." I have actually mentioned her website once, in this post.

This book is the single best resource I have come across that teaches not only the philosophy of teaching a young child obedience, but it gives practical examples in short chapters that break child-training process down into bite-sized pieces.

She begins with teaching children at the age of 6 months or so - that is a great time to introduce mommy's authority and the concept of "no." That's when they are squirming at a diaper change, and with in months it is also when they are at least a bit on the move and touching things they ought not.

Her main emphasis in child raising is keeping your children close to you. She calls this tomato staking - where you can watch closely and be a student of your children, and can quickly correct problems before they become issues. I think this is great, but it is only fair of me to mention - and warn you - that she is a big propenent of limiting contact with the outside world and believes that just about any contact with "other children" is adversive - even at church. I will also humbly say that I am only raising 3 right now, and she has birthed 10, SO WHO AM I TO THINK I KNOW BETTER? I do know that for my family right now, having exposure to "the outside world" is just fine. And her thoughts on this subject by no means disqualifies her from giving excellent parenting advice. Honestly, she is a very wise, woman.

So if you are about the enter the age of parenting a child who wants increasing independence, or if you are in the thick of it and wishing you had more help, go check out her site, read up on Tomato Staking and Starting Early. I encourage you to purchase the book. It will be the best $15 you invest this month.

Stay tuned. I will whet your parenting appetite in the next couple of days.

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