I welcomed Red Dwyer into my world, and settled down to ask questions about one of the most significant of her many titles. Pull up the rug and gather around, as we hear from the author herself.
GT: Taming the Terrible Twos, a Parents’ Survival Guide is a self-help book for parents of toddlers. What inspired you to write it?
Red Dwyer: With ten children spanning 17 years, I was intimately aware of the tie between toddler and teenage behavior. I was also surrounded, as I normally am, with parents struggling with terrible behavior. I realize why the parents believed it was merely a rite of passage which could not be mitigated. I argue it is a “self” help book. I think it really helps the children.
GT: Did you do research for this book, or does it come from your experience as a parent?
Red Dwyer: Yes. (grins) The advice in the book comes from more than personal experience, despite my abundance of it. Indeed, there are situations covered in the book which my children never orchestrated. There is also milestone, dietary and psychological advice which comes from the medical community.
GT: Most parents have difficulty with tantrums at this stage. What advice from the book do you think would help?
Red Dwyer: Read chapter five. Bookmark it. Reread as necessary. Tantrums are easy to understand. Children of all ages have them. The advice in the book will help you when the child with the tantrum is in the office beside yours.
GT: What is play for a child, and how have you incorporated play into your parenting?
Red Dwyer: Play is water for children. It is as essential as breathing. Play fosters the inquisitiveness which help children form their bond with the world around them, especially the world outside the parent’s home. I still play with my adult children. Parenting is not about curtailing adventure. Good parenting frames life lessons in the midst of adventure.
GT: How can this book help predict the behavior and navigate the sometimes difficult teen years of a child?
Red Dwyer: The book professes the differences between teens and toddlers are the size and cost of their clothing and toys. Toddlers who struggle with social or emotional development have a harder time navigating the teen years. Toddlers are forming the basis of character. Character determines and defines how children negotiate. Negotiation is the core of social interaction. Giving a toddler the tools to negotiate with character empowers them to take on the emotional (and hormonal) upheaval of adolescence with grace and power.
GT: What are the most important qualities or standards a parent should exercise during the parenting years?
Red Dwyer: Patience and understanding. We cannot be compassionate to anyone without understanding why they act the way they do. Realizing what we consider bad behavior is a form of communication is the key to avoiding and preventing it.
GT: Who would you recommend this book to?
Red Dwyer: Anyone who deals with children. Do you work with people who are someone’s child? This book is for you. Have grandchildren? This book is for you. Pregnant? This book is for you. Got teenagers? This book is for you. T3 is deceptively named. Although the protagonist in the book, Terry, is a two year old, how Terry acts is evident in children of all ages. How to tame Terry’s behavior is equally effective on twos, teens, twenties and beyond.
GT: Where can we find your book to purchase?
Red Dwyer: RedmundPro…Taming the Terrible Twos http://redmundpro.com/book-store/taming-the-terrible-twos/
I’m heading there now. Thank you Red, for a most enjoyable and informative talk about Taming the Terrible Twos, a Parents’ Survival Guide. Please come by again (smile).