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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 [Paperback]

Harvey Karp M.D.
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 26 2008
Perfect for expecting parents who want to prepare themselves for the challenging toddler years (which starts around eight months of age), this essential guide, a national bestseller by respected pediatrician and child development expert Dr. Harvey Karp, not only helps reduce tantrums but makes happy kids even happier by boosting patience, cooperation, and self-confidence.

This streamlined revision of the breakthrough bestseller by renowned child-development expert Dr. Harvey Karp will do even more to help busy parents survive the “terrible twos” and beyond....

In one of the most revolutionary advances in parenting of the past twenty-five years, Dr. Karp revealed that toddlers often act like uncivilized little cavemen, with a primitive way of thinking and communicating that is all their own. In this revised edition of his parenting classic, Dr. Karp has made his innovative approach easier to learn—and put into action—than ever before.

Combining his trademark tools of Toddler-ese and the Fast-Food Rule with a highly effective new green light/yellow light/red light method for molding toddler behavior, Dr. Karp provides fast solutions for today’s busy and stressed parents. As you discover ways to boost your child’s good (green light) behavior, curb his annoying (yellow light) behavior, and immediately stop his unacceptable (red light) behavior you will learn how to soothe his stormy outbursts with amazing success—and better yet, prevent these outbursts before they begin! And the new thirty-item glossary of Dr. Karp’s parenting techniques will save you valuable time when you need to instantly calm an out-of-control child. The result: fewer tantrums, less yelling, and more happy, loving time for you and your child.

Frequently Bought Together

The Happiest Toddler on the Block: How to Eliminate Tantrums and Raise a Patient, Respectful, and Cooperative One- to Four-Year-Old: Revised Edition + The Happiest Baby on the Block
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

California-based pediatrician Karp offers a unique approach to the tantrums, melt-downs and overriding challenges that often accompany the demanding years from one to four. Viewing toddlers as primitive thinkers akin to prehistoric man, Karp divides his patients into developmental groups: the "Charming Chimp-Child" (12 to 18 months), the "Knee-High Neanderthal" (18 to 24 months), the "Clever Cave-Kid" (24 to 36 months) and the "Versatile Villager" (36 to 48 months). Parents may find the toddler years so frustrating, Karp suggests, because they don't speak their child's language. To deal effectively with the undeveloped brains of toddlers, one must understand "Toddler-ese," he says, a method of talking to youngsters that employs short phrases, repetition, a dramatic tone of voice and the use of body language. Although the author admits parents may feel foolish speaking in this manner, he nevertheless maintains that the approach soothes children by respecting their needs. Additionally, Karp offers suggestions for positive discipline (e.g., loss of privileges and time out) and guides parents through early expected milestones, while acknowledging that a child's individual temperament (e.g., easy, cautious, spirited) will uniquely influence the pace of his or her development. While some readers may find the relentless cave-kid metaphors irksome, Karp's gentle, easygoing tone is soothing and offers new hope and strategies to those who may have given up on making sense of the toddler years.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Karp offers a unique approach to the tantrums, melt-downs and overriding challenges that often accompany the demanding years from one to four.... Soothing and offers new hope and strategies to those who may have given up on making sense of the toddler years."—Publishers Weekly

“You want help? This is r-e-a-l help! The Happiest Toddler on the Block is one of the smartest parenting books of the past decade. Over and over, parents will find themselves proclaiming, "Thanks, Dr. Karp…Now I get it! “—Kyle Pruett, MD, Professor of Child Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine and author of Fatherneed: Why Fathercare is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child

"Dr. Karp's approach is terrific...and fun! His book will help parents, grandparents and everyone who cares for toddlers be more effective."—Martin Stein, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, University of California San Diego, Children's Hospital San Diego

"Dr. Karp helps parents turn the "terrible" twos into "terrific" twos. His work will revolutionize the way our culture understands toddlers!"—Roni Cohen Leiderman, PhD, Associate Dean, Mailman Segal Institute for Early Childhood Studies, Nova Southeastern University

“Dr. Karp has done it again! Parents will find reading The Happiest Toddler on the Block a joyous adventure…with pearls of wisdom waiting for them on every page.”—Morris Green, MD, Director, Behavioral Pediatrics, Indiana University, Riley Hospital for Children, editor, Pediatric Diagnosis

“Dr. Karp's excellent approach gives parents the tools they need. His simple methods make raising rambunctious toddlers a whole lot easier.”—Steven Shelov, MD, Editor in chief of American Academy of Pediatrics’ Caring for Your Baby and Young Child

“Dr. Karp’s new book is an innovative, unique and thoroughly enjoyable guide to toddler behavior!” —Donald Middleton, MD, Professor of Family Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

"Parents will be delighted by this clever approach to communicating with toddlers. It allows us to see the world from our children's unique point of view."—Janet Serwint, Professor of Pediatrics, Director of the Harriet Lane Children’s Clinic, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

"It really works! With great humor and a gentle touch, Dr. Karp shows how to raise happy, well-behaved toddlers. His book is invaluable.—Gabrielle Redford, Senior Editor, AARP The Magazine (and mother of 17-month-old twins)

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, as expected! March 4 2004
I ran to the bookstore to get Dr. Karp's new book based on my experience with his phenomenal book about babies. I can say that Dr. Karp has proven how genius he is again. So simple, yet so powerful. No wonder he keeps coming back to Dr. Phil's 101 Parenting show. He has real advice that any parent absolutely needs to hear. It made my life so much easier. I am still practicing my "toddler-ese" but I can see immediate results. The book is not just helpful but it is FUN to read.
I have to say that, by adopting Dr. Karp's methods, I can enjoy my kids more. I have minimized daily struggles with them and maximized fun time we have together. That makes my kids love me even more, especially my 18 months old girl who is a real "Neanderthal in my kitchen".
Thank you Dr. Karp. I love your books! And I am looking forward to seeing your video about toddlers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Le livre à acheter Nov. 4 2010
By Natty
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Vous connaissez l'expression: "le bébé ne vient pas au monde avec un manuel d'instruction"?
Et bien, si il y en avait un, ce livre serait le meilleur choix, selon moi.
Je n'ai pas fini de le lire mais je sais que ce livre a changé ma perception de ma fille et des humains en général.
Il est simple, va droit au but, sans détour, n'est pas répétitif ni trop détaillé. Il y a plein d'exemple très graphique. Les explications sont simples et très réalistes.

Je recommende ce livre à tout les parents d'enfants de zéro à cinq ans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Although the analogy to prehistoric man is overdone a bit, there are so many sensible, clear strategies to try with 1-4 year olds that really are working for us. Talking toddler-ese has really made a difference in the cooperation we are now getting from our 2 and 3 year olds. Mirroring their feelings and "wants" with short, repeated phrases that reflect the child's words, tone and body lauguage has quickly and almost magically stopped much of my toddlers' defiant, annoying behaviors. Karp emphasizes that what you say to someone who is really upset is less important than HOW YOU SAY IT. And his theory has proven itself to be correct in our home.
The only suggestion in the book that I have a problem with is using a hook and eye latch to lock a child in his room even for a very short time-out. I feel this can be scary for the child and although it may get the child to know that you do mean business, I prefer not to get compliance from my children with fear, guilt or humiliation. Karp does suggest that you explain to the child in "toddler-ese" how the locking mechanism works so that he will know the door will not open when mom uses it.
I also recommend another one of my favorite parenting reference books as a compliment to Karp's hardcover book called "The Pocket Parent". This is a very practical, quick read, little paperback book loaded with many positive discipline and communications tips written exclusively for parents of 2-5 year olds. Peppered with humor and organized alphabetically by behaviors such as: Anger, Bad Words, Biting, Bedtime and Mealtime Refusals, the "Gimmees", Interrrupting, Morning "Crazies", and Whining...Pocket Parent is a real sanity saver. Both books will lift your spirits with specific ideas to try as well as loads of compassionte support from authors that have been there, too... especially when you feel you are just about at your wits' end with the little ones.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointing Feb. 5 2010
Has some good insight on how, and why your child behaves certain ways. However I don't want to have to act all crazy to communicate with them. the point is to teach them how not to act like that. When I'm at the restaurant with my kids I don't want to have to start stomping my feet and growling at my kid to tell him no!
I believe that we do have to simplify for the child to understand better, but i don't think we have to act like primates just because our little ones have underdeveloped brains!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Let me first say that I'm a big fan of Dr. Karp's Happiest Baby on the Block book. He had a theory (recreating the womb) and explained several ways to carry it out.
In this book, he has a theory that your child needs to feel understood and you should let them know you understand them by repeating back to them what they just told you, then empathizing. In their words, at their level. ("The Fast Food Rule") That's ALL. The book is full of examples and uses a caveman analogy to get its point across, but basically the message reiterated is the same or a variation on the Fast Food Rule. The video that accompanies this book is only 37 minutes long!
The "Happiest Baby, INC." trademark on the back says it all, I suppose. The main goal here seems to have been to turn out a sequel and fluff it up as much as possible to generate maximum profit.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Whoa, It Actually Works! July 18 2004
My son is 23 months old and definitely in the Terrible Two's stage. I felt helpless, lost and had no control of the situation whenever my son would snap into his "I want it my way" mode, sprawling on the floor. I truly had no idea how to calm my boy down. It was very frustrating. I can be very snap-y at times, but I did not want to be that way with my son. After all, he is just a toddler.
I happened to read a snippet about Dr. Karp's book in The New York Times' Science Times section. When I read about his concept that toddlers are basically Neanderthals, I thought he was definitely onto something (I always referred to my son as Bam-Bam from The Flintstones!). With my interest piqued enough, I ordered the book from Amazon.
After a couple of days, I tried Dr. Karp's Prehistoric Parenting method. I was shocked when after a couple of times repeating "You want mommy. You REAALLLY WANT MOMMY!!", my son stopped his tantrum; looked at me; and simply said, "Sorry!" It was like a revelation.
I love that you don't need to read every chapter in its entirety. When stuff about kids older than 3 years old came up, I went straight to the next chapter, since my son is almost 2.
My only criticism is that a lot of ideas are repeated over to a fault. But I could live with that. Dr. Karp is just trying to reiterate his messages.
Overall, I give this a 5 star rating for the sheer fact that the Dr. Karp's method of Prehistoric Parenting and speaking Toddler-ese really does work!
Do yourself a favor and buy this book. You won't be sorry. In fact, you'll be relieved!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The happiest Toddler on the Block
Bought that for my daughter who lives in Switzerland.....but found out that they can buy these books over there too.....apparently VERY helpful books
Published 6 months ago by Ursula Portz
5.0 out of 5 stars The Happiest Child on the Block
I am a psychoeducater. I work with preschool children experiencing developpemental delays and behavior difficulties. I work with their parents and daycare educators. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Carole Lapointe
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book by Dr. Karp
With success from Happiest Baby, we were drawn to the follow up. Expectations met or exceeded. His writing style is compatible with many readers, and I mainly like that he roots... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Dave DeVisser
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT
Absolutely great,works fantastic,very easy written.a must have for every household with toddlers (little cave man how he describes them) very worth the money.
Published on Jan. 14 2012 by Puki
2.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive, A Slow Read and Disappointing
Based on the title and the author (a pediatrician), this was exactly the book that I needed. However, I was disappointed. Read more
Published on June 28 2011 by Majuque
5.0 out of 5 stars In my top parent handbooks! Great!
Another great book by Dr. Karp. Full of helpful, creative and insightful skills to help curb toddler temper tantrums. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2011 by Brooke S
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful book
My husband and I have found this book to present a pretty realistic view of life with a toddler. The concept of viewing one's child as a prehistoric being is a useful reminder that... Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2005 by Hiroko Wiens
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Karp does it again!!
Unlike his "The Happiest Baby on the Block" book, there is no "short cut" page to turn to in this book - because dealing with toddlers is not the same as turning on a calming... Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by Kira's Mama
5.0 out of 5 stars No more dreading temper tantrums
After having so much success with the Happiest Baby on the Block calming
techniques, I could not wait to watch The Happiest Toddler on the Block
by Harvey Karp,M.D. Read more
Published on May 8 2004 by Tamar Meer
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