Dr. Karp, the sultan of swaddle, soothe and swing, has
a new book out an August pub date for the revised edition of his 2005 book [huh? -ed.] The Happiest Toddler On The Block. Because apparently, "Logic and persuasion, common tools of modern parenting," don't work on toddlers. [Never mind that ridiculous straw toddler setup: everyone knows the real common tools of modern parenting are timeouts and television.]
Karp's breakthrough--or at least the hook for the new book--is to calm the screaming toddler by reflecting and repeating his out-of-control demands:
For instance, a toddler throwing a tantrum over a cookie might wail, “I want it. I want it. I want cookie now.”The Times reporter seems to think this is embarrassing for a parent to do in public, but frankly, it sounds a lot less shameful than smacking the kid and potato-sacking him out to the car for a whupping. Full disclosure: Cookie is a DT advertiser.
Often, a parent will adopt a soothing tone saying, “No, honey, you have to wait until after dinner for a cookie.”
Such a response will, almost certainly, make matters worse. “It’s loving, logical and reasonable,” notes Dr. Karp. “And it’s infuriating to a toddler. Now they have to say it over harder and louder to get you to understand.”
Dr. Karp adopts a soothing, childlike voice to demonstrate how to respond to the toddler’s cookie demands.
“You want. You want. You want cookie. You say, ‘Cookie, now. Cookie now.’ ”