My toddler is not a Neandertal. I only wish he were...04 Feb 2008
How could I not look at an article headlined, "Coping with the Caveman in the Crib"? It's a health piece by Tara Parker-Pope, profiling "baby whisperer" Harvey Karp:
In his latest book, "The Happiest Toddler on the Block," Dr. Karp tries to teach parents the skills to communicate with and soothe tantrum-prone children. In doing so, however, he redefines what being a toddler means. In his view, toddlers are not just small people. In fact, for all practical purposes, they're not even small Homo sapiens.
Dr. Karp notes that in terms of brain development, a toddler is primitive, an emotion-driven, instinctive creature that has yet to develop the thinking skills that define modern humans. Logic and persuasion, common tools of modern parenting, "are meaningless to a Neanderthal," Dr. Karp says.
Seems a little harsh. Sure, his advice isn't bad -- it turns out we do pretty much the same things with our toddler. But jeez, lay off the Neandertals, dude!
The challenge for parents is learning how to communicate with the caveman in the crib. "All of us get more primitive when we get upset, that's why they call it going ape,'" Dr. Karp says. "But toddlers start out primitive, so when they get upset, they go Jurassic on you."
Yes, it is true that Goodwin acts like a velociraptor much of the time. But definitely not a Neandertal.