Is It a Big Problem or a Little Problem?: When to Worry, When Not to Worry, and What to Doby Amy Egan, M.A., Amy Freedman, M.A., CCC-SLP, Judi Greenberg, M.S., OTR/ L, and Sharon Anderson, OTR / L is one book I really wish I had read years ago, when I was a new mom. It is that good.
I picked this book up at the library because around the holidays, my four year old started to act up, and I just wasn't sure whether I was dealing with it appropriately. And I was quietly thinking, "Is this normal? At this age?" Luckily, the bad behavior went subsided once the holidays were over, and reading the book put my mind at ease that what we were dealing with is totally normal.
This book is geared toward parents of toddler or preschoolers. As the title suggests, the book gets into whether various problems that kids have are 'little' (problems that are manageable without outside intervention) or 'big' (may require outside help).
Yet this book goes so much further than just describing whether various issues are 'normal' or not: the book is chock full of ideas about how to enable your little one to be successful in early childhood. And simultaneously, how to help your household run smoother, and help you be a better parent. It provides explanations for why certain things, like play and taking away sippy cups, are good for kids' development.
The book is divided into three parts: The Basics; Understanding Development (social- emotional, speech & language, motor development, and sensory processing); and Where Children Struggle (at home, away from home, siblings & playmates, parks & playgrounds, holidays & celebrations, and out & about).
Throughout the book, the authors offer various scenarios with hypothetical children and problems, and offer tools and plans of action that parents can draw upon. They provide clear instruction on what is developmentally appropriate to expect from a young child, and how the parents can keep their expectations realistic & set their child up to succeed.
There's so much to like about this book, in addition to the large amount of information that it provides. I love that this book works to create positive parenting and empathy for kids, but also gets that kids need boundaries.
This book also helped shift my attitude about therapy, which has been slowly shifting for quite awhile. Growing up, I thought that therapy was a last resort- something that people did when they really, really couldn't handle a problem on their own. Now, I realize that therapy is a tool, and it is probably better to employ it too early rather than too late.
I highly recommend this book for all parents of little ones, not just for those that have issues that they are struggling with.
*The links in this post are my affiliate links with Amazon. If you should purchase something through these links, I thank you for your support!