The Secret Lives of Toddlers

The Secret Lives of Toddlers

A Parent’s Guide to the Wonderful, Terrible, Fascinating Behavior of Children Ag

Written by: Jana Murphy

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780399530234
  • 256 Pages
  • TarcherPerigee
  • Adult


Why do they rub food in their hair? Why do they want to hear the same book over and over? Why do they love being naked?

Between the ages of one and three, children can be delightful, affectionate, intelligent explorers of their newfound world. They can also be holy terrors. Grounded in up-to-date research, The Secret Lives of Toddlers demystifies 52 common behaviors of toddlers, while helping parents appreciate the miraculous development of their children.

An entertaining, reassuring guide to toddler behavior, this book shows parents how to get through their kids’ toddlerhood with affection, humor, and authority. With explanations from pediatricians, child development experts, and behavioral psychologists, parents will learn to:

- Understand the world from a child’s point of view
- Learn which bad behaviors need intervention and which can be ignored
- Cultivate good manners and reward good behavior
- Reduce their own frustration
- Play, speak, read, and interact with their toddler in healthy ways

Table of Contents

The Secret Lives of ToddlersForeword by Edward R. Christopherson, Ph. D.

Part I: The Way We Play
1. Why do toddlers insist on wearing the same clothes everyday?
2. Why do toddlers love to dress up?
3. Why do toddlers love to play outside?
4. Why do toddlers love to play hide-and-seek?
5. Why do toddlers like to read the same books over and over again?
6. Why do toddlers play next to, but not with, one another?
7. Why do toddlers always want what the next child has?
8. Why do toddlers always repeat the worst things you say?
9. Why do toddlers play with the box and not with the gift?
10. Why do toddlers love to ride, bounce, spin, and swing?
11. Why do toddlers endlessly arrange and rearrange their toys?
12. Why do toddlers put things in the VCR, DVD, toilet, and heat vents?
13. Why are toddlers so fascinated with babies?
14. Why do toddlers have imaginary friends?

Part II: Mealtime Mayhem
15. Why do toddlers refuse to eat one day and eat everything in sight the next?
17. Why do toddlers swallow without chewing?
18. Why do toddlers smear, stack, juggle, and throw their food?
19. Why do toddlers try to eat plastic grapes and mud pies?
20. Why do toddlers have a love/hate relationship with their utensils?
21. Why do toddlers eat before blessing?
22. Why do toddlers fall asleep while they’re still eating?

Part III: So Little Sleep
24. Why do toddlers wake up so darned early?
25. Why do toddlers stop taking naps when they still need them?
26. Why do toddlers get hyper when they’re tired?
28. Why won’t toddlers sleep alone?
29. Why do toddlers still wake up at night?
31. Why do toddlers wake up terrified?

Part IV: This Little Boy of Mine
32. Why do toddlers bite?
33. Why do toddlers climb?
34. Why do toddlers love to be naked?
35. Why do toddlers pick their nose?
36. Why do toddlers hold their breath?
37. Why do toddlers pee in the tub?
38. Why don’t toddlers seem to smell their own stinky daipers?
39. Why do toddlers poop in the corner?

Part V: In the Mood
40. Why do toddlers throw temper tantrums?
41. Why do toddlers worship the ground their older siblings walk on?
42. Why do toddlers tell lies?
43. Why do toddlers cooperate in slow motion?
44. Why do toddlers favor one parent (and then the other)?
45. Why do toddlers suffer from separation anxiety?
46. Why do toddlers whine?
47. Why do toddlers cling to pacifiers and thumbs?
48. Why do toddlers drag around a favorite blanket?
49. Why do toddlers say “No, no, no”?
50. Why do toddlers think everything is “Mine, mine, mine”?
51. Why do some toddlers fear everything?
52. Why do some toddlers fear nothing at all?


Appendix A: Time-outs for Toddlers
Appendix B: Resources

About the Author