The Emotional Life of the Toddler: Chapters 9 and 10

The Emotional Life of the Toddler: Chapters 9 and 10

Alejandra Valera
Apr 28, 2008

Welcome to the final week of Ohdeedoh Book Club as we finish up The Emotional Life of the Toddler with chapters 9 and 10. Last week, we covered chapters 7 and 8 which dealt with separation anxieties as well as sibling rivalry and toilet training. This week the final chapters deal with divorce and the toddler in daycare setting.

Divorce can be a traumatic experience for any adult, image how it must be for a toddler who can't even fully comprehend the situation at hand...

Lieberman discusses how children, especially at this age, are completely egocentric and my often see themselves as the cause for their parents' relationship breakdown. Their vision of the world is often skewed as they think, "...if mommy stopped loving daddy, maybe she will stop loving me." Lieberman reassures us that while divorce may be traumatizing as it disrupts their secure base, in the end, it is better than having them witness constant anger between parents.

Chapter 10 deals with the toddler in child care and how to help them cope with good-byes, separation, peer relationships and parent-caregiver and child-caregiver relationships.

At the conclusion of the book, Lieberman reiterates many of the points she has made throughout and mainly that toddlers need autonomous space while keeping their parents nearby. She writes that the adolescent and the toddler have much in common as both experience great periods of growth and both have a deep need to establish an identity. She ends by saying, "The life lessons of the toddler years involves learning that sometimes letting go -- within limits -- is the surest way of staying close."

Well, what do you think of the book as a whole? Would you recommend this book to friends and family?

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