Cover image for Outwitting toddlers
Outwitting toddlers
Adler, Bill, Jr., 1957-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Kensington, [2001]

Physical Description:
xv, 280 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ772 .O98 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HQ772 .O98 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HQ772 .O98 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HQ772 .O98 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Parenting

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Every parent knows the nightmare of dealing with that small but determined little adversary whose favorite word seems to be NO! Now Bill Adler, Jr. and Peggy Robin, bestselling authors and parents, give you the tools you need to turn your little devil into an angel, without crushing his or her spirit or spoiling the child rotten. Filled with clever strategems, tricks, and techniques for getting the one-to-four-year-old to cooperate, this invaluable guide offers effective ways to: Put an end to your toddler's slaps, kicks, and bites. Stop your child's nighttime sleep problems. Get your dawdler out the door fast -- and dressed appropriately. Replace junk foods with healthy snacks. Discourage clinginess at daycare or preschool. And much more.

Author Notes

William Adler was born on May 14, 1929 in New York. After attending Brooklyn College (1947-51), Adler served in the U.S. Army. Adler, a full-time writer/editor, has published approximately 150 books on various topics over the past forty years, but he is probably best known for his books reflecting the wit and humor of individual celebrities. In books such as The Kennedy Wit and The Churchill Wit, Adler has selected and edited a variety of quotations and humorous anecdotes that reveal a human side of famous individuals. His edited collections of letters written to famous people or organizations, such as Kids' Letters to President Carter and Letters to the Air Force on UFOs, are also quite popular. These books, while interspersed with humor, often explore more serious topics with insight, understanding, and sensitivity.

Adler wrote for two popular television programs, Candid Camera and Tex and Jinx, and conceived the ideas for a series of murder mysteries written by other authors, that invited readers to participate in solving the crimes. Large cash awards were offered to the reader who could solve a series of crimes leading to the murders. The first of these popular 1980s mysteries was Who Killed the Robins Family and where, and when, and how and why did they die? Although Adler masterminded the book, Thomas Chastain actually wrote it. Later, Adler would use this same reader-participation strategy when he published Bill Adler's Chance of a Lifetime, a guidebook on how to become a successful entrepreneur. Again a cash prize was offered to the reader who entered the best new business idea after reading and following the principles presented in the book.

Adler has also written and edited a number of his more serious books under the pseudonym, Jay David.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Prolific authors Adler (365 Things to Do with Your Kids Before They're Too Old to Enjoy Them) and Robin (The Safe Nanny Handbook) offer a fresh outlook on the toddler years and approach their subject with practical yet humorous determination, incorporating advice from parents across the country and other, often contradictory, advice by various parenting experts. At the heart of Adler and Robin's approach is their belief that all toddlers are not alike. So the authors offer flexible strategies for overcoming a host of dilemmas, depending first and foremost on the child's individual personality. For instance, methods for giving up a pacifier range from going "cold turkey" to implementing "slow, incremental steps." While they claim their methods work without bribes, Adler and Robin are perfectly content to recommend using rewards, as long as parents reward only positive behavior and not the cessation of negative behavior. Little white lies are also condoned as well as the phrase, "Because I said so." In short, while the authors are clear about the methods they advocate versus those they don't, because they emphasize flexibility, they largely tackle toddlerhood from a "whatever works" perspective. This is a playful yet sensible guide that covers every significant phase of toddlerhood, from potty-training to preschool. Parents who feel like the helpless hostages of a dawdling two-year-old will find plenty of fresh--as well as time-proven--ideas. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Do Toddlers Need to Be Outwitted?p. xi
The problem with toddlers
The problem with most parenting advice
What types of techniques are in this book
Chapter 1 Clothing Wars and Battles Over Appearancep. 1
It's below zero out there and he won't put on a jacket
She won't take a bath
My son jumps out of the tub the minute he sees me going for the shampoo bottle
I feel like his valet (he won't even try to learn to dress himself)
Whenever I brush her hair, she acts like I'm running a torture chamber!
Help! My child has head lice!
He has to be dragged into the barber's every time he needs a haircut
If I let my children pick out their own clothes, they dress like circus clowns
Chapter 2 The Nightmare of the New Situationp. 28
She clings to my leg and screams "Don't go!" every morning since I've started work
He cries for the first hour and a half at preschool
He won't accept a new sitter
I'm having a baby soon, and my daughter isn't happy about it
He hides whenever he sees his grandparents coming
Chapter 3 Getting Them to Eat--But Something Other Than Junk Foodp. 51
How do I convince my kid that vegetables aren't poison?
Mealtimes are so messy
My child eats only one food
My child never stops eating
She's too big for the high chair but too little to sit on a regular chair
He believes that the three major food groups are candy, chips, and soda
Chapter 4 Giving Things Upp. 71
She's four and she still needs her "passy"
She's addicted to her thumb
He can't go anywhere without his favorite stuffed animal ... but the preschool he'll be attending says he has to leave it at home
She won't give up the bottle
Well, we got him off the bottle and onto a sippy cup, but now it looks like we'll never be able to take off that top!
She's in love with a worn-out dress and won't wear anything else
She spends hours zoned out in front of the TV
Chapter 5 Why Can't You Behave?p. 95
My two boys are always fighting
One child behaves, the other doesn't
My daughter is a tattletale
She bites!
She has tantrums (especially in public places)
The other parents don't want him in the sand-box because he grabs all the toys
She always seems to be the victim of playground bullies
My child delights in pulling the cat's tail
Her normal tone of voice is a whine
She says just what's on her mind, including, "You're ugly!"
He's already learned all the four-letter words--and he uses them
I say "time-out" and my child just laughs at me
Chapter 6 Errands and Outingsp. 134
My son is a terror at restaurants
Grocery shopping with my child always takes twice as long and costs a whole lot more
Shoe shopping (or clothes shopping) is impossible when she comes along
My toddler's too big for the stroller, but I can't get her to walk with me either
Our childless friends have lots of antiques and no toddler-proofing--will we ever be able to visit them?
Why can't she learn the meaning of the word "hurry"?
Chapter 7 The Trouble With Travelp. 152
Vacations are miserable because he can't stand being anywhere but home
She hates her car seat
We're planning a cross-country drive with two toddlers. Is this idea insane?
The flight lasts nine hours--how will we survive?
Flying with kids is horrible, but driving's even worse--is there another way?
The worst part about travel is changing diapers on the road
Chapter 8 Getting Them out of Diapersp. 178
My son needs to be trained by the start of preschool, but he hasn't shown any interest yet
He'll pee in the potty but he's too impatient to sit and wait for a poop
She's scared of the toilet noise
He doesn't seem to mind being wet or poopy
She's been out of diapers for almost a year but still has lots of accidents
He's closing in on five and we're still not getting anywhere
Chapter 9 For Health and Safety's Sakep. 206
I can't get him to take his medicine, no matter what I do
He hides under the bed when it's time to see the doctor
I'd like to bandage her boo-boos, but she won't let me near them
Walkers, jumpers, and swings: Should we or shouldn't we?
I keep thinking I've toddler-proofed the house, but my little Houdini has managed to break any lock and get around any barrier
Chapter 10 Getting Some Sleepp. 227
My one-year-old is still waking up three times a night
How can I put an end to all those bedtime "callbacks"?
The bedtime ritual takes over an hour
She can only go to sleep in my bed
Our toddler has his own "big boy" bed--now how do we get him to stay in it?
I can't get my child to nap
Chapter 11 Maintaining Parental Sanityp. 257
With three children five and under, will I ever have peace and quiet?
Can we (should we?) travel without our small children?
It's been raining all week and we're running out of things to do
I'm so sick of "The Farmer in the Dell" tape I could scream! Isn't there any music that both kids and adults will like?
Conclusionp. 272
Resource Guidep. 273
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 277