Jo Frost’s Toddler Rules #Giveaway

by Dawn

I received a copy of this book for review purposes. I was also compensated for writing this post, but all opinions remain my own.

Jo-Frost-Toddler-Rules-Cover_PhotoRaising children is no easy task, and from my own experience over the last 13.5 years of being called Mom, I can say that whatever stage my kids are in right now is the most challenging. But back when we were navigating the toddler years with our first born son, I remember thinking that the “terrible twos” just didn’t need to be that way. Jo Frost, also known as child care expert Supernanny, agrees. In her new book, Jo Frost’s Toddler Rules: Your 5-Step Guide to Shaping Proper Behavior, she presents a straightforward method of parenting with love and discipline, two ideas that are intricately intertwined.

Now, let’s get this out of the way first thing– discipline is not a dirty word, and it doesn’t have to bring to mind an idea of harshness. Discipline in parenting terms, as Frost explains, is simply the act of providing children with a framework of expectations through boundaries and rules, with consequences for inappropriate behavior. These consequences serve the purpose of helping children to reflect on their behaviors and taking responsibility for their actions. Of course, what this looks like differs through childhood, and in this book, Frost focuses primarily on kids in those early years of intense development- the toddler years.

The framework for Jo Frost’s advice lies in five key areas. I happen to love when parenting books break their ideas down into easy-to-remember lists, making it easy to remember when in the trenches, you might say. All of the guidance in this book revolves around these five components that all children need:

  • enough sleep each day
  • proper nutrition at regular mealtimes
  • socialization and physical activity
  • stimulating early learning experiences
  • clearly communicated expectations for appropriate behavior, or in other words, discipline

Sounds simple enough, right? As an early childhood educator, I know that these are the exact tenets that I lived by in my role as a preschool teacher, but I’d be a liar if I said it always came as easy as a parent. Now that I’m spending my days caring for some toddlers again, I appreciated the reminders and guidance offered in the series of chapters focused on each of these components.

Incorporated into each is Frost’s signature S-O-S method that parents can incorporate into all their parenting decisions. (And trust me when I say that these are not only valuable to parents of toddlers… I’m trying to remember them for my interactions with my teenager as well!) Again, the concept is simple and logical– Step Back, Observe, Step In. In short, parents must be able to stop themselves from immediate reactions (unless in an emergency situation, of course) and take a moment to look past their emotions and see what is actually happening, so that they can react logically and thoughtfully. While this is applied to each of those five ideas above, perhaps the most sought after application is in the final “bonus” chapter specifically about tantrums. Oh yes, the S-O-S method can be as helpful to parents as it is to the red-faced toddlers it can be used on!

I was especially happy to see Frost address one factor early on in the book that I have always found to be helpful– routine. As a teacher, I constructed my preschool students’ day around a predictable routine that provided for their needs (sleep, snacks and meals, socialization, physical activity, and learning experiences) and incorporated a sense of appropriate expectations for their behavior, too. It is no different for me as a parent, and routines are in place for our various types of days– school days, summer break days, and weekends, and though they may not look exactly the same, my kids know that there is a basic structure that remains. Especially in the early years, routine provides a sense of familiarity and comfort that young children absolutely need, and Frost advocates this as well.

Anytime I’ve ever seen Supernanny on television, I was always impressed by her positive attitude even when trying to assist families who were combative or unwilling to change even though they reached out for help. In this book, Frost retains that positive tone in a confident manner that gives even more strength to her credibility while maintaining her overall likeability. New and seasoned parents alike will find gems of wisdom in her latest book.

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Follow the instructions in the widget below to be entered to win a copy of Jo Frost’s Toddler Rules. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only, please.

Email Author    |    Website About Dawn

When she's not reviewing books, 5 Minutes for Books contributor Dawn (and her online alter ego, morninglight mama) can be found blogging at my thoughts exactly and contributing to The DC Moms.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The Funster March 10, 2014 at 10:28 am

The points you had mentioned “enough sleep each day, proper nutrition at regular mealtimes, socialization and physical activity, stimulating early learning experiences, clearly communicated expectations for appropriate behavior, or in other words, discipline” seems to me to be parenting 101. This is a great list. And teaching a child discipline at an early age is so beneficial because if it become habit, it will serve them well as they get older. Thanks for a great review and very informative post!


2 anne March 10, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I was not young since I was brought up in the fifties so my first date was when I was 18 or 19. It was a different day, age, and lifestyle then.


3 Jen March 10, 2014 at 4:51 pm

I was 16 for my first date


4 CJ March 10, 2014 at 6:44 pm

I was not allowed to date until I was 16. To celebrate the occasion, my dad took me out for my first “date” for my sixteenth birthday.


5 Nancy March 11, 2014 at 8:37 pm

My first date was at 16.


6 riTa March 12, 2014 at 11:59 am

My toddler-parenting days are over. However I have toddler grandkids and a great on the way! I’d say, loving discipline, shaping behavior and how not to be run over as a doting grandmother!


7 Stephanie March 13, 2014 at 9:54 pm

I’m right in the thick of things with my first, age 14 months, and some days I just feel like I’m in over my head. I appreciate the 5 things outlined in this book, and feel it would be invaluable to both me and my husband.


8 Pamela H. March 14, 2014 at 5:43 pm

I need the most guidance in parenting my toddler is his tempter tantrums, and listing to my Husband and I.


9 Janice Crespo March 14, 2014 at 5:57 pm

I watch my 14 month old grandson full-time while my daughter is at work. Carter exhausts me. LOL I need help keeping up with the energy and getting him to understand NO – LOL Basically he acts like NO is a challenge LOL


10 Shona Bolden March 14, 2014 at 9:39 pm

I have 2 toddlers and one with special needs. Any advice I can get is helpful as they have very different issues. My main concern is teaching them to get along and sleeping issues.


11 Cynthia March 16, 2014 at 4:15 am

Our biggest issue is enough sleep. We have trouble getting our daughter to bed early enough, and she does not sleep through the night anymore. It can be frustrating to deal with. I know this is why at times she can be grumpy and difficult to deal with. That can lead to her not listening at times or getting upset.


12 Brittany March 16, 2014 at 10:20 pm

How to not get wrapped up in their drama. Thanks for the chance to win.


13 Allison Smith March 17, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Dealing with sleep difficulties (waking up often)


14 Karen Drake March 20, 2014 at 6:06 pm

I need the most guidance in forming good sleep habits, I have trouble getting my toddler to go to bed at night.


15 Mihaela Day March 20, 2014 at 6:12 pm

I need the most guidance in forming good eating habits :)


16 Rachel H. March 20, 2014 at 6:53 pm

I use some of Jo’s rules in our like the time out spots ect, but there are times I’m baffled on how to react to my two toddlers, espically when they act up in public!


17 Shannon Baas March 20, 2014 at 7:11 pm

I need help with sleeping.


18 Jonathan Brigden March 20, 2014 at 7:41 pm

I need help with the tantrums and outbursts. Kinda goes over the top sometimes and hard to deal with.


19 McKim March 20, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Getting my grandson to sleep in his own bed through the night.


20 Jodie Rosenblum March 21, 2014 at 12:58 am

I still have an infant, but I could use this later.


21 susan smoaks March 21, 2014 at 9:19 pm

stick to your guns


22 Rosanne March 21, 2014 at 11:50 pm

I never knew how to discipline and get them to listen to me and obey immediately


23 Gianna March 22, 2014 at 1:04 am

How to deal with screamy temper tantrums.


24 Christie Kammerer March 22, 2014 at 1:45 am

having more patience and understanding.


25 MARIA simon March 22, 2014 at 1:35 pm



26 mistie barnett, March 22, 2014 at 4:18 pm

I think discipline and times to discipline.


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