Your Three-Year-Old:Friend or Enemy isn’t your typical CBR book, but it’s also not your typical parenting book, either. Louise Bates Ames’s series of child development books covers ages 1-14. So far, I’ve read the 2- and 3-year-old books and plan to keep reading these every year before my son’s birthday.
Published first in the 70’s, what makes these books different from most parenting books is the focus on behavioral information. This book won’t tell you how to deal with your 3-year-old’s tantrums exactly, but it will tell you WHY your child acts the way they do. I appreciate the gentle, reassuring tone of the books and the emphasis on trusting your own parenting instincts.
Some may argue that these books are dated, but there is a reason they are still in print 30+ years later. The descriptions of what is normal behavior at each age are, in my experience with my son and many other children, spot on. The books describe the variations of behavior and what happens developmentally at specific ages. For me, having a better understanding of why my son is clinging to me, acting out, or trying new, crazy stunts leads me to finding my own strategies to help him through his challenges — and fosters in me an appreciation of just how much he is growing and developing every day.
Review originally published here.