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Issue 02

Age Appropriate Behavior: Parenting Books for Early Childhood, Tween & Teen Development

Parenting books on human development are a great resource to learn about normal child development and age appropriate behavior. It is easier to deal with a child’s behavior when the parent knows that it is typical behavior for the age. For example, a two year old that refuses to share is right on target developmentally. Two year olds don’t have the capacity to share and their parents should not feel like their children are misbehaving when they won’t share.

The Early Childhood Years: Books by Louise Bates Ames

Louise Bates Ames has a series of books that focus on each particular year in child development. The author’s basic philosophy is that each age comes with its joys and its challenges. She believes that no one age is more difficult than the rest and hypothesizes that children go through six month cycles as they develop. Children will have a six month period of great growth and change that is often turbulent, followed by a relatively calm six month period.

The catchy titles aside, Ames’s books are a good first resource for any parent struggling with a particular developmental stage. Here are a few of her titles.

  • Your Two-Year-Old: Terrible or Tender [Dell, 1980]
  • Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy [Dell, 1980]
  • Your Nine-Year-Old: Thoughtful and Mysterious [Dell, 1991]

Age Appropriate Behavior for the Tween and Teen Years

The Everything Tween Book: A Parent’s Guide to Surviving the Turbulent Pre-teen Years by Linda Sonna [Adam’s Media Corporation, April 2003]

Written by a child psychologist and former foster mother, this book helps parents deal with the challenges of raising a tween. The tween years cover the late childhood years, before the full-fledged teen-age years. Parents today can often be shocked at seeing behavior that was once typically associated with teen-agers emerge in their young tweens. Sonno’s book is a practical guide for these rocky years.

Yes, Your Teen is Crazy! Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind by Michael J. Bradley [Harbor Press, Inc., February 2003]

Bradley uses MRI research to prove that teens’ brains are still developing and that there is a reason for their irrational behavior. He offers practical advice on how to parent teens in the modern world.

Child development is a well-researched field with many available resources. Being a better parent starts with understanding what is normal and age appropriate behavior. Whether your child is a toddler or a teen, there is a parenting book available that will address your child development concerns.

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