The Emotional Life of the Toddler: Chapters 7 and 8

The Emotional Life of the Toddler: Chapters 7 and 8

Alejandra Valera
Apr 21, 2008

Welcome to week four of the Ohdeedoh Book Club as come near the end with chapters 7 and 8 The Emotional Life of the Toddler.

Last week, we covered chapters 5 and 6 which discussed the characteristics of the so-called active and shy toddlers. In chapter 6, Lieberman gave suggestions on how parents of those children can resolve conflicts with those personality types. This week, the chapters cover early anxieties toddlers have and issues to negotiate with your toddler.

The chapter on Early Anxieties covers a whole lot of territory (including the specific anxieties of toddlerhood, that is: the fearing of losing their parent's love, body anxieties and fear of the unknown) but there is one section in particular we wanted to focus on.

The section titled "Encouraging Emotional Security" ends by stating, "Toddlers learn meaning from their parents, and they can learn to tolerate distress much better if they have a sense that it is for a worthy cause." Lieberman uses the example that a toddler may be able to better handle their mother leaving for work if she can give her the child the understanding that what she is doing is important and not a cause for unhappiness. Conversely, a mother who hates her job and feels guilty for leaving will cause her toddler to, "..not learn to respect the importance of the mother's outside activities."

What do you make of this? We can't imagine a child being understanding and saying, "O.K., have a great day at work, mom!" just because their mother loves their job.

One section in Chapter 8 discusses toilet training, sibling rivalries, nighttime anxieties -- all of which are major issues of concern for many parents. Was there anything that jumped out at you about chapter 8?

Next week, divorce!

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