Does your toddler seem to be a tiny terror lately? Can you just not seem to get a handle on the tantrums and boundary pushing? Are all the timeouts and yelling just not working?
I was once where you are. I was having doubts and confusion on how I should be handling my toddler’s behavior. My patience had run out, and I was desperate for a change. I just wanted to enjoy my toddler again.
Now, we’ve all heard the phrases, terrible two-year-olds, truculent three-year-olds, and ferocious four-year-olds. But, what’s really going on inside those tiny brains of theirs during this time? Why do they act the way they do during these years and what’s the best way to deal with these behaviors?
Listed below are my top books and podcasts to help get you through the toddler years. These resources will help you understand what is going on developmentally with your toddler and where their behaviors stem from. They’ll teach you how to communicate with and address your toddler’s behaviors with respect.
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The Best Books and Podcasts on Toddler Discipline
The toddler years can be rough…on both you and your toddler. But, with the proper tools, it can be a lot easier! Listed below are some of the best books and podcasts to help you and your little get through (and enjoy!) the toddler years.
Janet Landsbury is the poster child of respectful parenting. She’s a parenting expert with powerful and inspirational advice. She’s compassionate and dedicated to helping parents, just like you and me.
Her philosophy is all about treating your child as a person, with the same level of respect as you would give anyone else, but yet still maintaining limits and boundaries.
Whether you’re struggling with social skills, sibling rivalry, aggressive behaviors, or everyday tantrums, Janet’s website is the place to go. You can look up specific topics on her blog and also on her podcast, Unruffled.
I love Janet’s podcasts. They are easy to listen to and are only about 15 minutes long. I find them quite calming and are great to listen to for when you’re having a bad parenting day. Unruffled definitely helps restore your confidence and reminds you of effective parenting tools.
While you can look up relevant topics on Janet’s blog and podcast, understanding the whole picture of respectful parenting will be most beneficial to you and your toddler.
In the book, Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting, Janet gives a general overview of respectful parenting. This book is loaded with valuable information for parents, educators, and any other child caregiver.
Janet distills her wisdom through short essays and first-hand experiences that are clear, concise, and easy to implement. The first half of the book is geared more towards infants and covers topics, such as sleep and diaper changes, but the second part of the book touches on all things toddlerhood.
Janet covers setting/enforcing boundaries, eating, sleeping, focus, and much more. She describes effective tools on how to communicate with your toddler and build a trusting relationship.
This guide will change your outlook on parenting and will benefit both you and your child. This book is a true goldmine for parenting.
Janet’s other well known book, No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame is geared specifically towards toddlerhood. Just like the title states, it’s all about how to discipline your toddler without shaming them. Respecting him/her as an individual and acknowledging their thoughts and feelings.
In this book, Janet addresses common toddler behaviors, like hitting, tantrums, fighting sleep, and testing boundaries. Janet provides insight on how to effectivley communicate with your toddler to get to the root cause of their behavior. She explains how honoring their feelings and letting them think for themselves allows their brains to thrive.
Janet provides guidance how to parent your toddler with love and compassion, but yet remain strong enough to set and enforce boundaries. She provides you with real-life examples of written letters and emails from parents she’s helped in the past.
By implementing Janet’s tools, you will become a calmer, more confident parent and will probably have a different toddler on your hands in no time. But, remember, parenting is never easy. It will take some practice, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
How Toddlers Thrive is another must-read for parents of toddlers.
In this book, Dr. Tovah Klein provides you with parenting advice based on actual research with thousands of toddlers. It explains the toddler’s brain and provides you with an empathetic roadmap on how to parent your toddler now, so he/she will grow up to be a confident, creative, and motivated adult.
The first section of this book is all about seeing the world from your child’s eyes. It shifts your perspective and helps you understand what’s going on from your toddler’s point of view. It explains what’s going on developmentally in their brains and bodies and how it affects their behavior.
The second section of this book opens your eyes to realistic expectations of common toddler topics, like picky eaters, potty training, bedtime madness, sharing, and more. Dr. Klein then provides you with effective tools on how to handle each topic, and how you can set your toddler (and yourself) up for success.
The advice in this book will help your toddler gain independence and figure out who they are, while still knowing that you’re there for them and will always be their rock. It will help you understand your toddler and how to live happily with them from day-to-day.
If you have a headstrong toddler on your hand, then this is the book for you.
How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen is a survival guide for ages 2-7. It’s guided by workshop discussions with the authors and success stories from real parents.
This book is filled with concrete tools and tips for common toddlerhood challenges, such as getting dressed, getting buckled into the car seat, bedtime, and sibling rivalry. The authors also provide you with simple techniques to avoid tantrums, meltdowns, and jealousy in the first place. The solutions are respectful, yet effective.
The authors also summarize each chapter into bullet points at the end; Something you could easily write down to keep for future reference.
All in all, this book teaches you powerful communication skills, so that you can respond to difficult situations with your little calmly and effectively.
BONUS: This book has a section for learning how to speak to kids with sensory processing disorder and autism. There’s also some tips for talking to non-verbal kids.
The Whole-Brain Child uses research to help you understand how to handle tough situations and how to nurture your child and their growing brain. It’s all about the science behind what’s going on in your child’s brain, and what is hiding underneath all those crazy emotions and behaviors.
This book will help you to anticipate changes in your toddler’s behavior and teaches you how to handle them when they occur. It helps you understand which parts of the brain have to be accessed in order to manage certain behaviors and emotions.
Through real life examples, you’ll gain strategies to deal with and minimize tantrums. You’ll discover how to help your toddler learn and grow, and you’ll become empowered to dive deeper into understanding the developing mind.
And, even though this book is based on science, it is very easy to read and apply the concepts in real life.
If your toddler is anything like mine and doesn’t nap, you don’t have a whole lot of time on your hands to be reading adult books. Instead, download these off Audible on Amazon and listen to them on your phone or computer. If you haven’t had Audible before, you can sign up for a free trial and download 2 audiobooks for FREE!
Peaceful Toddler, Happy Parent
The toddler years are a delicate dance in parenthood. There’s a huge explosion in their brain development, which causes all sorts of behavioral challenges.
Luckily, there are several resources out there that can help us to understand what is going on inside our toddlers’ brains and how we can handle all these emotions and behaviors with respect.
1. Unruffled – Podcast by Janet Landsbury
2. Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting by Janet Landsbury
3. No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Landsbury
4. How Toddlers Thrive by Dr. Tovah P. Klein
5. How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide for Ages 2-7 by Joanna Faber and Julie King
6. The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
These books and podcasts will give you the parenting advice you need to enjoy your day-to-day life with your toddler again. Your toddler’s behaviors will become more peaceful to you and you will become a calmer, more confident parent.
But, remember, parenting is hard work, and the toddler years are certainly no exception. It will take time and practice, trial and error, to figure out what works best for you and your child.
What About You?
Have you read any of the books listed above? Which resources have been most helpful for you and your toddler? Share your experiences in the comments below and be sure to share this post with other toddler moms.