In this follow-up to How to Behave so Your Children Will, Too!, parenting authority Sal Severe maintains that life with a preschooler can be free of whining, tantrums, and other unpleasant behavior. The author reveals that while children of this age want to test their will against everything, usually with much noise and melodrama, they also want nothing more than to please their parents. This concept may seem unlikely to Mom and Dad when the little one stuffs all the guest towels down the toilet, but the book advises parents that if they can just keep control over their own emotions, they can prevent situations from escalating into meltdowns or screaming fits.
Setting limits with consistency and patience -- the hallmarks of discipline -- can aid parents in the constant battles over bedtimes and sibling bickering. Severe, however, reminds readers that they must model appropriate behavior if they want their child to learn how to deal with conflict and disappointment. On a more practical level, simple tactics such as charts and stickers will often do the trick, and Severe offers advice on using these devices without sending the wrong message to your child. A final section addresses specific problems you may encounter -- including constant attention seeking, lying, and picky eating habits -- and how to correct them. Constructive as well as philosophical, this guide can help parents promote good behaviors in their children while teaching them to realize the consequences of their actions -- a valuable lesson at any age. Jessica Leigh Lebos