Parenting Advice #FAIL

"Gossip makes your praise five times more effective." -Harvey Karp, M.D., The Happiest Toddler on the Block

As one who aims not to disappoint my readers, I picked up my first toddler parenting book, The Happiest Toddler on the Block, this weekend. Why? Because the only parenting book I've read so far was the Happiest Baby on the Block.

My editor at Oklahoma Today, Louisa, recommended Happiest Baby, and what she says, goes. I read it immediately. Then I practiced swaddling on my cat, Buddy. The funny thing is that he let me. I may need to practice again before #2 comes.

Happiest Toddler recommends a technique called "gossip." Basically, you tell other people what good things your kid has done, in a place where he can hear you as well, as a way to reinforce good behavior. The book recommends that you use the child's toys.

So this is me yesterday morning:

B: Mr. Dinosaur, Van went pee pee on the potty this morning. He's getting so good at it.
V: Mom, the dinosaur doesn't talk.
Me realizing that my attempt at gossip was about to fail, tried to recover.
B: Maggie, did you hear that Van went pee pee on the potty this morning?
V: Mom, Maggie is a DOG.

*sigh* I'm trying folks! I don't know where Van picked up being a smart Alec? (For those who don't know me personally, that was sarcasm, or generally being a smart Alec.)



Elizabeth said...

Nobody at your house is ever sarcastic. I don't know where he gets it from.

You can practice on us on Sunday. At least we'll know in advance so we don't get in the car on the way home and have the following conversation:
E: Man, Brooke was really proud of Van's abitlity to pee.
N: I know, what's the big deal? I mean, how hard could it be for him? Big white hole, aim, go.
E: This coming from....

Kim said...

When Claire was potty-training, we called everybody who might possibly care that she was doing so good at it and told them all about it. Daddy, grandparents, and my sister! Good luck!

Kristen said...

Thank you for your cute post and for mentioning The Happiest Baby and Happiest Toddler on the Block!

When using 'gossip' and 'toddler-ese' with your son in addition to the other techniques from The Happiest Toddler book, they can seem silly at times (for both parents and toddlers) but with practice you will begin to see changes in his behavior, etc. Don't give up hope!!

Dr. Karp recommends watching The Happiest Toddler DVD in addition to reading the book as seeing the techniques implemented on actual children will help!

Keep up the good work & let us know how things are going!

Kindest regards,

Kristen Terry
The Happiest Baby, Inc.

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