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Me, Myself and I: How Children Build Their Sense of Self - 18 to 36 months
by Kyle D. Pruett, M.D.

Most parents these days are fully aware that the most significant part of their child's development of personality, confidence, learning skills and emotional health lie in the first three years of life. It is that small piece of time that can impact heavily on the rest of his or her life.

Me, Myself and I by Dr. Kyle D. Pruett is a wonderful (and sometimes terrifying) glimpse into the inner workings of toddlers, the fears, strategies and characteristics which make them the joy and the enigma they are to most of us! "The self - the ME - of the young child emerges in this 18-month era with such force that it feels more like a geologic event than a stage in development. After months of figuring out what is me and not me in the world, children are so anxious to put this new understanding to the test that we, as parents, often feel that all we can do is direct traffic." (Chapter 4, pg. 52)

Dr. Pruett describes the milestones and developments which take place at lightening speed during this short time. He offers wonderful anecdotes about children he has seen in his practice and uses them as examples of what we can expect both in emotion and behaviour from our tiny tots. The anecdotes combined with technical information and the results of studies over the years serve to broaden parental understanding of these often turbulent and confounding years while, at the same time, offer concrete suggestions to parents on how to encourage, reward, discipline and support their toddlers with love and humor.

Dr. Pruett attempts to explain the world as a toddler sees it, so that we, as parents, may be better able to guide and nurture the natural curiosity, energy and exuberance so evident in this period of life. "Few parents miss the fact that imagination is a part of play, but it is discouraging how many parents fail to understand the importance of imagination to all aspects of a child's development." (Chapter 7, page 111)

The book is also strongly pro attachment parenting and anti-corporal punishment. Dr. Pruett is a firm believer in guidance as opposed to domination over a child's behaviour. This is evident in every chapter. "Attachment is built over time in the course of everyday transactions when children learn that they can rely on their parents for affection and encouragement and that they can trust their parents to come to their aid." (Chapter 2, page 28)

In short, this book is the "everything you ever wanted to know about toddlers but were very afraid to ask" book that offers parents a solid and reassuring foundation for guiding little ones through this stage in life, and making the most of it.

Book review by Nancy Gazzola

To Purchase:
   • Me, Myself and I at Amazon.com
   • Me, Myself and I at Amazon UK
   • Me, Myself and I at Amazon Canada

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