Book Reviews of Your Four-Year-Old : Wild and Wonderful

Your Four-Year-Old : Wild and Wonderful
Your Four-Year-Old Wild and Wonderful
Author: Louise Bates Ames
ISBN-13: 9780440506751
ISBN-10: 0440506751
Publication Date: 1980
Pages: 160
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 18 ratings
Publisher: Dell
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

11 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Your Four-Year-Old : Wild and Wonderful on + 164 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was an interesting read - I knew it was an older book, but was amazed by how much of it still rang true....It kind of gave me a glimpse through the eye's of my preschooler!
reviewed Your Four-Year-Old : Wild and Wonderful on + 450 more book reviews
Ames and Ilg write so very helpfully about the normal developmental processes of kids and families. Their books are resources every parent should have.
reviewed Your Four-Year-Old : Wild and Wonderful on + 4 more book reviews
Every parent should read this series. It is so reassuring!
reviewed Your Four-Year-Old : Wild and Wonderful on + 6 more book reviews
Wonderful information! Very good book for parents of a preschooler.
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Very accurate portrayal of some of the unique characteristics of a 4-year-old. This book describes to great detail what to expect socially and intellectually from a child this age.
reviewed Your Four-Year-Old : Wild and Wonderful on + 54 more book reviews
These are great info (not behaviorial methods) on your kids at different ages. Great books to answer the questions of "are we the only ones dealing with this right now?"
reviewed Your Four-Year-Old : Wild and Wonderful on + 108 more book reviews
First, the book was written in 1976 and your child will be referred to as either "Four" or "him" throughout. An occasional paragraph is written specifically about girls, but aside from those, your child is a "he". I found this distancing (my four-year-old is female) and a bit confusing, because sometimes the prose switches from using "he" to mean all children to using "he" to refer only to male children, and it's hard to keep track of who is being referred to sometimes. Although, if you don't concentrate on the details, it's pretty easy to figure out, because apparently boys are adventurous, aggressive, and athletic, and girls are, well, not mentioned that often so I guess they're just not like boys! This is why we don't read parenting books written in 1976 anymore.

Other than the rampant sexism, this book seems to be written to reassure parents that all the normal things their child does are normal. For example:

Dressing up is very big at Four. Boys as well as girls love to dress up, preferably in adult clothes. Boys, as a rule, prefer cowboy hats and holsters; girls love long gowns, veils, hats, handbags. Boys are less likely than earlier to dress up in high-heeled shoes or women's hats. Make-believe weddings, with the bride, especially, dressed elaborately from the old-clothes box, are popular.

Duh. In telling parents what to expect, this book amounts to a way to check if your child is "normal" without having to question whether or not being normal is a good thing. Neither does it tell you what to do if your child is not normal, or how serious it is if these descriptions don't fit your child at all.

The best part of the book is the second paragraph. You can read this and then throw the book away, because there isn't anything as helpful as this in the whole rest of the book:

For the most part, we have found the boy or girl of this age to be joyous, exuberant, energetic, ridiculous, untrammeled -- ready for anything. What a change he offers as compared to his more difficult, demanding, Three-and-a-half-year-old, just-earlier self! If at times he seems somewhat voluble, boastful, and bossy, it is because it is so exciting for him to enter the fresh fields of self-expression that open up at this wonderful age.

So sweet! This made me want to gather up my daughter and give her a big hug, and I keep it in mind when she seems to have too much energy for me. There's a lot to love about someone who has so much enthusiasm, and who will always say "Yes" to any suggestion you have for something to do together.

Other than that, this book does not have much to recommend it. It may have been helpful when it was originally published, but there are better resources for parents out there now.
reviewed Your Four-Year-Old : Wild and Wonderful on + 3 more book reviews
This edition of the book was written in 1976. I felt it was outdated.
reviewed Your Four-Year-Old : Wild and Wonderful on + 69 more book reviews
So very helpful in understanding my child's development. My daughter's behavior was definitely in line with this book, which gave me many ideas on how to handle the various four year old stages. Will be keeping this to read again when my son gets to 4.
reviewed Your Four-Year-Old : Wild and Wonderful on
I love this whole series of books...and used them religiously when my daughter was young. Now I am sharing them with her for her 2 children! Wonderful!
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"What is it about four-year-olds that makes them so lovable? What problems do four-year-olds have? What can they do now that they couldn't do at three? Drs. Ames and Ilg, recognized authorities on child behavior and development, discuss these and scores of other questions unique to four-year-olds girls and boys, and they offer parents practical advice and enlightening psychological insights."
"I think (these books) are delightful and likely to capture the imagination of young parents, enough to help them through these years...I think the books will be both a pleasure and support for many parents." - T. Berry Brazelton, M.D.