Book Review: Stop Second Guessing Yourself: The Toddler Years by Jen Singer

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016 at 8:31 am

Doubts seem par for the mothering course.

You see the amazing mother on Facebook who is doing enrichment activities with her children every day of the week (Debbie, I’m looking at you!) and you wonder if your children are missing out because you mostly just stay home and work around the house.

You see other children who are talking in full sentences or singing songs or correctly identifying colors at age 1 and you wonder if maybe you’re the reason your child isn’t doing those same things.

Your toddler melts down when you tell her it’s time to get ready for bed and, instead of going straight to bed (like she’s trying to do), you go to the bathroom to brush her teeth (despite that having been your bedtime routine for months.) And when she melts down, you wonder if maybe you’re doing this mothering thing wrong.

A book called Stop Second Guessing Yourself: The Toddler Years sounds like just the thing. You need something to help you develop confidence in your own mothering so that you can relax and just get on with the mothering instead of constantly, well, second-guessing yourself.

If you pick up Jen Singer’s book hoping to get that, though, you’ll be disappointed. Rather than a confidence-inducing book for mothers, this is a collection of tips for a variety of toddler parenting situations. For the most part, it’s Jen’s own tips – although it does include some blurbs in sidebar form from Singer’s “MommaSaid.net” community. For the most part, the tips were in the relaxed category – hacks to get your kids to do what you want (without necessarily parenting their hearts) or to cope with the inevitable frustrations of toddlerhood.

Okay, I suppose, if that’s what you want. For my part, I prefer my “tip” books to either be

  1. from an experienced mother whose outcomes are known (Homeschooling mom of a half dozen who has well-mannered teenagers? I’d love to hear her tips of mothering)
  2. a compilation of research-proven methods (a la Nurture Shock)
  3. or

  4. a compilation of tips from hundreds of different moms (because out of hundreds of moms, one of them might have circumstances and/or personalities that mesh with yours and your child’s)

So I wasn’t a huge fan of this book. Your results may vary.

Stay tuned, though, if you’re interested in hearing my advice for how to stop second guessing yourself as a mother.


Rating:2 stars
Category: Parenting Advice
Synopsis: One mother’s advice on how to cope with the toddler years. Emphasis on coping (versus parenting).
Recommendation: Not a fan, don’t recommend.

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