Tovah P. Klein, Ph.D.

Barnard College Center for Toddler Development


Tovah P. Klein is Director, Barnard College Center for Toddler Development, Psychology professor, Barnard College; author of How Toddlers Thrive: What Parents Can Do Today for Children Ages 2-5 to Plant the Seeds of Lifelong Success (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 2014), available in 7 languages. She holds a doctorate in Psychology from Duke University and completed clinical training at Boston Children's Hospital.

Dr. Klein's three decades of work with parents and young children takes many forms. Her love of this age stems from a deep interest in the influence parents have on children's foundational development as well as their joy and curiosity. Her research looks at parenting challenges, children’s play and emotional development; the impact of parental emotions on child learning and memory; and child trauma, including the impact of 9/11 on young children and a qualitative study of Parenting During Covid. Her direct work with families focuses on separation, establishing security and resilience, children's emotional well being as well as intergenerational impacts and patterns.

Klein is frequently quoted in the media including the NY Times, CNBC, CNN, Washington Post and and numerous online venues. She appears on TV and radio including MSNBC, Today Show,  Nightline, NPR and Good Morning America who called her the ‘toddler whisperer’. She consults worldwide to programs for children and families, was a developmental advisor to Sesame Street, and is an advisor to Room to Grow, Ubuntu Pathways S. Africa, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, and Hunts Point Alliance for Children. She lives in New York City with her family.