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From Biting to Hugging

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About the Author

Donna Wittmer, PhD, is associate professor emerita of early childhood and early childhood special education in the School of Education at the University of Colorado, Denver. She earned her doctorate in child, family, and community studies at Syracuse University. A prolific author, she has written dozens of articles and books on early childhood development. She is a sought-after speaker and presenter worldwide. Deanna W. Clauson is a freelance writer. She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She writes articles for Colorado publications, grant applications, and case studies for the University of Denver.


The authors quote teacher concerns that reflect an earnest desire to help "younger and older toddlers be kinder to each other." Throughout this book, the authors offer wise, gentle, and practical ideas. And the suggestions in this book will indeed help teachers of very young children to provide the kind of insightful, and patient care that promotes the development of prosocial attitudes and behaviors that will help little ones flourish in group care as well as rejoice their loving care providers. --Dr. Alice Sterling Honig, PhD"https: //" (04/30/2018) Generous. Empathic. Helpful. Caring. Kind. Friendly. Those aren't usually the first words that come to mind when talking about infants and toddlers. From Biting to Hugging will change the way you see young children and early social development. For much of our history, we have linked social and emotional learning and development. Then, we mostly looked at the emotional domain. Donna and Deanna bring each aspect of social learning and development to life with a story. Dozens of toddlers show us how they help friends who are crying, prefer prosocial to mean behavior in others, and celebrate deeply felt friendships. They show us how they are learning when there are conflicts and hurt feelings. The teachers on these pages display warmth and wisdom as they support the children's learning. From Biting to Hugging provides a readable but thorough review of current research from around the world. Chapters describe how infants, young toddlers, and older toddlers learn to be social partners, the capacities they bring to caring, the struggles and learning of peer conflicts, and being particularly challenged by peer relationships. Following each of these descriptive chapters is a chapter with strategies for the teacher to support learning. This is the only resource I know that focuses on this fundamental, foundational domain. Everyone working with infants and toddlers should read it.--Sandy Peterson"" (03/02/2018) Social-Emotional Learning is an important and timely topic in Early Childhood and the world today. As we look at issues that arising in schools "and beyond" we studies that put an emphasis on handling of social and emotional skills as key to future success and lifelong learning. However we often don't look at the youngest children to see how we can help them as early as possible. "From Biting to Hugging: Understanding Social Development in Infant and Toddlers" is a landmark book that provides a detailed look at the social skills that are developing in the first years of life. This is an essential book for anyone who teaches and loves infant and toddler children. It combines real-time developmental information about some of the challenging and wonderful behaviors of the youngest children with practical and useful suggestions for managing issues with clarity and care. I highly recommend this book and know that it will become a classic on the shelves of Infant and Toddler caregivers.--Ellen Booth Church"" (03/26/2018) The new book From Biting to Hugging: Understanding Social Development in Infants and Toddlers, by Donna S. Wittmer and Deanna W. Clauson, draws from current research and decades of best practice to offer practical information on how to support early social development. Written in a clear, easily accessible style, this book encourages the reader first to understand children's behavior and consider the child's perspective. Above all, the authors illuminate the unique kind of learning that happens in infants' and toddlers' peer relationships. Wittmer and Clauson set the stage for specific strategies by addressing what it takes to foster the development of secure attachments in early care settings. Their practical advice to implement policies that promote the continuity of primary relationships will nicely connect with broader efforts to promote high-quality care for infants and toddlers. Within secure relationships and a climate of care, the book spells out three core strategies infant and toddler teachers can use: Mind-mindedness, assuming good intentions, and encouraging and supporting peer interaction. Together these strategies can help adults understand the child's perspective in a positive way and build on the strengths and inclination of individual children to relate to others with respect and care. --Peter Mangione"https: //" (03/07/2018)

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