Not a child’s play

Title: Think Like A Baby

Authors: Amber Ankowski and Andy Ankowski

Publisher: Jaico

Price: Rs 299, Pages: 207

Title: Parenting with Love & Limits

Authors: Jerry Wyckoff and Barbara C. Unell

Publisher: Jaico

Price: Rs 399; Pages: 290

Children are cute, fun to play with, and easy to cuddle; but only if they’re somebody else’s. If you have a child of your own, you know how painful and arduous it is to raise a kid. It is rightly said that a child changes the life of a parent. Along with the happy moments of first smiles, giggles, gestures and tiny words come the sleepless nights, dark circles, misshapen body, dirty dishes and linens, no social life and yes, a list of expensive children stuff. The life changes; and it’s never the same again. Gone are the days of idle walks in the park and evenings of candle light dinners. It’s the time for feeding, burping, and changing nappies.

There are also a barrage of suggestions and instructions from all and sundry right from how to bathe your baby to why she should not sleep in certain position. While suggestions are always well-intentioned, it sometimes becomes overwhelming to absorb so much information. It’s always good to read as many books on parenting as possible while you’re pregnant, but how much of that knowledge you’re going to use in real life is another theory altogether. There’re numerous books on parenting and the latest two I came across are ‘Think Like A Baby’ by Amber and Andy Ankowski, and Parenting With Love & Limits by Jerry Wyckoff and Barbara C Unell.

‘Think Like A Baby’, as the name suggests, tries to help you get into a child’s mind and understand her point of view. In Think Like a Baby, co-authors Amber and Andy Ankowski—The Doctor and the Dad—show parents how to re-create classic child development experiments using common household items. These simple step-by-step experiments apply from the third trimester through age seven and beyond and help parents understand their children’s physical, cognitive, language, and social development. Here you can not only read about how kids are behaving, changing, and thinking at various stages, you can also see it for ourselves while interacting and having fun with them at the same time.

The authors have given few experiments to understand a child’s development and psychology. Each experiment is followed by a discussion of its practical implications for parents. The book is easy to read as it goes on to give some practical and fun solution to our day-to-day interaction with kids. However, it sometimes gets far fetched with few experiments.

Parenting with Love & Limits, on the other hand, talks about 43 most common childhood troubles such as whining, temper tantrums, bullying, disobeying, leaving a mess, resisting bedtime and many more. As the blurb reads, the book will teach you to effectively manage these common problems in a loving yet firm manner. It contains new information about mindful parenting, teaching empathy and inclusiveness, reducing stress in your child’s environment and increasing his/her frustration tolerance.

The book also includes new brain research on the effects of spanking and threats on children, techniques for establishing positive relationships with your children, descriptions of the misbehaviour symptoms, the causes and how to approach them and practical solutions for every behavioural problem. However, I would say that this book is more like a reference guide to all that you want to try on your kids. Though the authors tell us in detail why a child behaves in certain manner and how one can manage that behaviour, the book tends to get boring in between due to too many lengthy details and information. It reads more like a textbook solution than a problem-solving channel. However, it’s an interesting read to get a grip on child psychology.

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