Tears and Tantrums

What to do when babies and children cry

by Aletha Solter, Ph.D.

Publication date: 1998

Are you baffled by your baby's crying or your child's tantrums? Do you feel helpless, impatient, or angry? Do you struggle with conflicting advice?

Tears and Tantrums will reassure you and help you stay connected to your child during these difficult moments. Based on research in the fields of attachment and trauma, this book describes a new way of responding to crying in children from birth to age eight. This respectful and revolutionary approach has many benefits, including:

Tears and Tantrums
  • Helping babies sleep through the night
  • Preventing discipline problems
  • Increasing children's attention span
  • Reducing aggression and hyperactivity
  • Helping children heal from trauma

Developmental psychologist and parent educator Aletha Solter is the founder of the Aware Parenting Institute. She is recognized internationally as an expert on attachment, trauma, and non-punitive discipline. Her five parenting books have been translated into many languages.


Why temper tantrums are good: video by Aletha Solter


Please click on the following link for more information:

Full news release and author bio
Introduction to the book


Reviews and endorsements:

"[Dr. Solter is] more familiar with the scientific research studies for early child development and crying than anyone in the world..... This book will undoubltedly give readers more confidence as parents or caregivers, because it provides them with specific skills that will bring rewards that all parents value, namely, children who are healthier, both physically and psychologically."
—From the foreword by Dr. Thomas Gordon (Author of Parent Effectiveness Training)

"I heartily recommend Tears and Tantrums to all parents. It confirms many principles in our clinical work over the past 30 years... This book is a 'must read' for all those caring for children."
—Vivian Janov (Director, The Primal Institute)

"[Solter's] emphatic urging that parents not shame or punish children for crying could relieve much of the tension about crying and tantrums suffered by both adults and children."
—Publisher's Weekly

"In this, her latest and best book. Dr. Aletha Solter provides outstanding parenting advice on what to do when babies and children cry. Her growing reputation as the leading authority in this area of parenting is well deserved."
—Dr. William H. Frey II (Neuroscientist and author of Crying: the Mystery of Tears

"Drawing on scholarship, professional and personal experience, and parents' reactions to the crying workshops she conducts, Solter offers practical, compassionate solutions to problems posed by children's emotional pain and strong feelings... Her empathic tone, clear writing, and knowledgeable advice help make her handbook a welcome addition to parenting literature."
Booklist of the American Library Association

"This book is a breathtaking leap forward for the mental and physical health of the human race. It is one of the most important books of the century, and should be mandatory reading for every young adult on earth."
—Paul Vereshack, M.D., D. Psych. (Author of The Psychotherapy of The Deepest Self)

"This book is so important, for the health of our children and our society, that I have put it on my required reading list for professionals and parents who attend my training sessions, and I am recommending it to every professional and parent that I know."
—William R. Emerson, Ph.D. (Pioneer in infant and child psychotherapy, director of Emerson Training Seminars)

"In this age where we are trying to find ways to prevent violence in a very violent society, this book is a winner. If only there were some way to get this author's message out to the "masses" of parents who are raising their children in the same old knee-jerk ways."
—Elaine Childs-Gowell, Ph.D. (Psychotherapist and author of Good Grief Rituals)

"Aletha J Solter guides parents through the mysteries of crying - what the messages mean and how to respond. Tears and Tantrums is the book I wish my own mother had read, for then I wouldn't have needed therapy later as a young adult. What I discovered about crying through years of hard work, Solter shares in an immediatelty accessible form. My own six children have been responded to as Solter advises, and as a grandmother now, I can vouch for the results! My highest recommendation for Tears and Tantrums. This book needs to be in every library, and is the ideal baby shower gift. The information therein will free families of emotional trauma in order to journey through life's challenges together in trust."
—Jeannine Parvati Baker (Midwife and author of Prenatal Yoga and Natural Birth, Conscious Conception, and Hygieia: a Woman's Herbal)

" Tears and Tantrums provides practical information for parents on dealing with crying in infants and children, not as a nuisance or "behavior" to be controlled, but as a natural and spontaneous expression of real emotions. In this developmentally accurate and humanely sensitive guide, parents will learn to respond to their children's crying with love, caring and attunement. This book cries out to be read!"
—Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. (author of Awakening Your Child's Natural Genius)


This web page was last updated on March 19, 2021. Copyright © 2020 to 2021 by the Aware Parenting Institute. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical (including copying to other web sites, and including translations and photos), without written permission from Aletha Solter.