This month’s book review is written by @mollymamaadopt. Molly’s an avid reader and wrote this review at the start of her family’s adoption journey. Her review is of “First Steps in Parenting the Child who Hurts: Tiddlers and Toddlers” written by Caroline Archer.

First Steps in Parenting the Child Who Hurts

First Steps in Parenting the Child Who Hurts: Tiddlers and Toddlers written by Caroline Archer

This book has been high on my reading list for the last three months. It was recommended by our social worker, Adoption UK, adoptive parents, and the adoption community on Instagram. After reading it in all of two days, I can absolutely see why. This is a ‘must have’ book that my husband and I will have on the shelf to reference at all times when our little one comes home.

Caroline Archer’s book is an easy read but is heavy on the proactive strategies any adoptive parent will need to use when raising and nurturing their insecurely attached child. The book covers all things about attachment disorder, neuro-hormones, brain development, and attunement. It was fascinating from start to finish.

Caroline somehow manages to translate factual and scientific jargon into a playful description of the kind of behaviours your child may display. She uses specific scenarios such as emotional dysregulation, sleeping issues, and tantrums, and then provides simple, to-the-point steps, advising how best to support and coach your child through these difficult times.

The best bits

The best bits for me were the bits I wasn’t expecting. I was fascinated learning about how to stimulate infant movement in physically underdeveloped children and also the importance of synchronic attunement between the primary caregiver and child (yes…it’s a thing!). This book has fully equipped me for life as a therapeutic parent.

The book itself is a slim read. It’s spatially laid out with the odd doodle, and is a modern, attractive book that even the non-reader will enjoy. There are literally no negatives that I can write about. It’s important to note that this book is specifically aimed at infants and toddlers. Caroline has written a book for older children which follows on nicely.

“First Steps in Parenting the Child Who Hurts: Tiddlers and Toddlers” is available to buy from Waterstones and Amazon. These are affiliate links which means if you click on them and buy the book, I get paid a fee from Waterstones or Amazon.

Head over to the book review section to read about more adoption and parenting books.


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