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The Happiest Toddler on the Block: How to Eliminate Tantrums and Raise a Patient, Respectful, and Cooperative One- to Four-Year-Old: Revised Edition (Paula Spencer and Harvey Karp)

2.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
More reassuring than educational, this is an easy-to-read, humorous collection of parenting advice dealing with how to manage your pesky toddler from their first step through the terrible twos and beyond.  Drawing a lot of parallels between the developmental patterns of cavemen, chimps, and toddlers, Harvey argues that if we can communicate on the toddler’s level (or the caveman level), we can soothe, reassure, and diffuse tantrums quickly.  Though it is entertaining, it is long on analogies and anecdotes, and short on delivering what it really promises – a too-good-to-be-true, one-style-fits-all solution.  Consider it reassurance that others have also struggled, and take the solutions with a grain of salt.
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The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World is Still the Least Valued (Ann Crittenden)

4.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
Though well-written and thought provoking, The Price of Motherhood is going to be a divisive book for many people – in it, Crittenden effectively argues that the “mother” (defined as the primary nurturer/caregiver within the household) is often asked, consciously and unconsciously,  to give up a large portion of her professional identity, her future income, and even her sense of self-respect.  The book is a well-organized mixture of surveys, journalistic-style reporting and interviews, as well as an analysis of how other countries have handled the issues of parenting,  including paid time off, etc.  Though there wasn’t much that I hadn’t heard of tangentially, it’s presented here with a blend of anecdotes and data that is engrossing and articulate and addresses an issue that should be generating more conversation and debate.

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