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Every day you meet your child’s spiritual and emotional needs—you just don’t know it. In this short, accessible, and comforting book, J.L. Shattuck provides insight into your child’s earliest rituals.


Have you ever wondered why your toddler will only drink from a specific cup, or only eat if you turn mealtime into a game? Have you ever found yourself following along with---and maybe even enjoying---your child’s increasingly elaborate bedtime routines?

In The Tending Years: Understanding Your Child’s Earliest Rituals, J.L. Shattuck argues that these behaviors are not just habits but rituals—patterns of behavior young children naturally develop to reassure themselves they are safe and loved. Shattuck draws on child development theory and more than two decades of experience as a teacher, religious educator, and parent to explore the spiritual roots of this behavior. She demonstrates how adults and young children instinctively work together to support each other’s growth during this unique developmental period.


Unlike parenting books that ask you to change the way you interact with your child, this easy-to-read volume details the ways in which you’re already meeting your child’s needs and offers inspiration and support to help you through the preschool years and beyond.

The Tending Years

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