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Douglas, H. (2003). The Social Toddler Helen Dorman, Clive Dorman, Elliot L. Jurist Richmond: CP Publishing, 2002. 304 pp. £15.99. J. Child Psychother., 29(3):435-437.

(2003). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 29(3):435-437

The Social Toddler Helen Dorman, Clive Dorman, Elliot L. Jurist Richmond: CP Publishing, 2002. 304 pp. £15.99

Review by:
Hazel Douglas

The Social Toddler is a ground breaking publication following in the footsteps of the first book, The Social Baby (Murray and Andrews, 2000), from the same publishers. The books have a minimal amount of text in relatively straightforward language, but what makes these books different is that they contain sequential photographs. In fact, the text is derived from the photographs. The photographs do not just illustrate a point, because they are detailed enough to speak for themselves.

The Social Toddler is about understanding toddlers and ‘why they do the things they do’. It has some coverage of physical developmental skills, such as mobility and fine motor skills for each year, but most of the book concentrates on areas such as communication and relationships. The first section of the book ‘Parenting from a child's viewpoint’ photographs adults treating other adults how they would treat a child, to show how incomprehensible and unpredictable some of our actions are to children. The photographs then progress to show children trying to grapple with the world around them. This book is not a theoretical treatise and has hardly any references. It is an easily accessible book, designed for parents. As Helen and Clive Dorman say in their Introduction, the book does not directly teach parenting skills, it aims to explain ‘why children behave the way they do’. However, it does more than that.

Having covered the first 2 years of life in The Social Baby, this book concentrates on child development from the age of 2 years to 5 years.

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