The Pocket Parent

It’s instant relief for when your 2-year-old is on the floor of the toy store, pitching a fit. Or when brother and sister discover that they can’t stand each other. Or when your son can’t say no to video games.

THE POCKET PARENT is, literally, a pocket-size book of tried-and-true advice, common sense, parental wisdom, and sanity. Written by two professionals who’ve reared six children between them and made a career out of helping others with parenting issues, this handy book will be a lifesaver for every parent of a 2-to-5-year-old. It begins with an overall view of the Pocket Parent approach to discipline. Based on unconditional love but firm limits, and aimed at keeping the child’s dignity and self-esteem intact, here are strategies that include "I" statements, modeling, family meetings, and "one word" requests. Once the ground rules are set, the guide moves to an A-to-Z compendium of common problems. Just look it up-Anger, Bad Words, Biting, Chores, Doctor Visits, Fears at Night, Lying, Separation Anxiety-and find the "Sanity Savers" list of suggestions, easy-to-follow bullets, anecdotes, and more.

For the bag, glove compartment, backpack, or shelf in the kitchen, it’s there for you whenever you need it.


  • Paperback: 379 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; 1st edition (July 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076112182X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761121824
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
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4 thoughts on “The Pocket Parent”

  1. I have twin 2-year-olds and a new baby. Needless to say, I find my patience, parenting skills and sanity being tested daily! Sibling rivalry (including occasional hitting and biting), anger towards the new baby, not listening, whining, separation anxiety, bad words, tantrums in public…what’s a mother (or father) to do when you’ve simply had it? “The Pocket Parent” has become a part of the essential “stuff” that I carry around with me. Because of it’s size and A-Z arrangement of topics, I can look up some ideas to try on the spot. The humor and empathy throughout the book help comfort me in the thought that I am not alone and that I am a good mother in the midst of a very important and sometimes very challenging job. I have noticed that since I have been using this book that I often try to take a few moments to think before I speak. I am proud of that, because I find my communication with my children to be more respectful as well as more effective in gaining their cooperation. “The Pocket Parent” lifts my spirits-especially on one of those days when everything that can go wrong,does. I also appreciate the fact that there are many “Daddy” anecdotes included in the book. My husband and I found it very helpful to read suggestions together, followed by discussion for a few minutes before we go to sleep when we have a specific problem. I highly recommend “The Pocket Parent” for every parent that has questions about their preschooler.

  2. “The Pocket Parent” is a wonderful, easy-to-access resource, which parents of preschoolers will surely refer to again and again. It offers practical, hands-on suggestions for handling many challenging, everyday parenting situations-often even supplying the words that parents can use. Readers will recognize themselves and their children in the real-life anecdotes the authors have chosen to illustrate their sound advice.
    I love many features of this book, but one of my favorites is the “Take Heart” section in every chapter. Each begins with “You’re not the only parent who…,” and offers reassurance (and alternative strategies) to parents who may feel they’ve “blown” a parenting situation.
    I highly recommend this book. In fact, I predict that it will become a classic-trusted and frequently used by parents of two-to-five-year-olds.
    — Blakely Bundy, M.Ed., Executive Director of the Winnetka Alliance for Early Childhood and President-Elect of the Chicago Metropolitan Association for the Education of Young Children

  3. I currently have twins about to turn 3, as well as a 6 year old and a 1 year old. Needless to say, the practical advice found in this book is priceless. Having looked at several books on parenting, this book stands out because of it’s simple style, yet completeness in covering the topics addressed.
    For all of the main areas that most parents have to deal with (tantrums, potty training, getting kids to bed, etc) this book has a section devoted to it – first with a simple question and answer dealing with the issue. Then, a list of tons of practical suggestions, briefly written with entertaining examples – this is the real meat of the book in my opinion – it’s like all of the practical advice everyone has ever given on a topic is condensed into that part of this book. Then, each section ends with a bottom line conclusion. These “bottom lines” basically act as that little bit of support every parent needs to deal with the frustration of having kids.
    My bottom line is: this book is a really great resource. It definitely makes the perfect gift for new parents, or even as a parent gift for the kids’ birthdays. Believe me, a parent will appreciate it!

  4. My wife and I continue to find this refernce book to be the most helpful guide we own for suggestions in dealing with the challenging behavior of our 2 and 3 year old sons for 6 reasons:

    1. We love the overall tone of the book and sense of humor throughout from the authors who are also parents themselves. We feel comforted that we are not alone in the daily challenges we face with our toddlers.

    2. Pocket Parent clearly taught us (formerly very permissive parents) how to become STRICT disciplinarians who no longer allow our children to “rule the roost” and get their whining demands met all the time.

    3. Pocket Parent offers hundreds of POSITIVE sensible strategies of how a parent can remain in COMPLETE CHARGE of the misbehaving child WITHOUT resorting to the more “automatic negative parenting pilot” reponses of yelling, nagging, bribing, threatening, …(which were not working most of the time for us anyway!).

    4. Pocket Parent suggestions (called sanity savers) are very practical and parent friendly…the book is not clinical nor condescending with “shoulds” and “donts” from “holier than thou experts.”

    5. Pocket Parent covers every behavior you can think of in an easy alphabetical, quick read bulleted format. We keep our copy in the bathroom to QUICKLY refer to again and again in our few moments of peace.

    6. Pocket Parent is fun to read and priced very reasonably…this year’s stocking stuffer for all our friends with 2-6 year olds.

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